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Old May 24th, 2005, 05:55 PM   #61
EarlyBird
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rantanamo
A lot of the highways being shown wouldn't be allowed in some U.S. cities or states. Some of those roads are downright scary and have outdated safety designs and really poor geometrics.

How about a real modern properly designed highway complete with barrier, sufficient shoulder, super visual lighting properly placed away from traffic and correct geometrics for safer entrance/exit.
US highways wouldn't be allowed in the UK as they would be considered unsafe. High barriers cause obstruction of view on on/off ramps, leading to increased casualties, concrete surfaces increase the braking distance over asphalt and the concrete crash barriers were considered harardous here as they cause vehicles to either bounce off or flip over them due to their rigidity. The British metal crash barriers were designed to give by a few feet so that the vehicle (trucks included) would be guided along by them rather than go straight over the top or bounce off into someone else's lane. Also, any raised division in the road (either on or off) requires many metres of zig-zagged "warning" zone to alert the driver. All these safety features are missing from US roads, hence higher casualty figures.
 

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Old May 24th, 2005, 06:15 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258
Cloverleafs are an outdated form of freeway intersection in my opinion since you have to slow down to a crawl then try to accelerate back to freeway speed while others are again slowing down to a crawl for an exit. They look cool from the air but that's about it.

I would agree that they're OK for freeway intersections outside of the city where traffic is low.
My point wasn't really if cloverleafs are good or bad, it was rather to show an example of how new highways here are build into the enviroment, rather than just placed in stacks on top of each other, making them much more pleasant looking (IMO). And this goes for all new on/off ramps, bridgecrossings an so on here (Still talking about Denmark only). Of course this gets more difficult and expensive the wieder the highway is.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 06:41 PM   #63
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Talk about unsafe, look at this autostrada pic from the first page...this is pretty brutal, what is a little 3 foot wide curb going to do.

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Old May 24th, 2005, 07:14 PM   #64
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US browbeats Europe when it comes to highways. The surface quality is obviously worse -- considering the coverage, weather, the lane width, the number of lanes, etc. this is not a big surprise. On the other hand, the US highways have the clearest direction boards in the world, along with a well marked road, rain or shine. The lanes are luxiriously wide, the interchanges forgiving, and the traffic separation extremely generous. The emergency lanes are infinetely wider and more common -- a real factor in safety. The highway network, on top of all this, is humangous. In terms of connectivity, it is unparalleled.

Basically, it's not a competition.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 11:54 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyBird
US highways wouldn't be allowed in the UK as they would be considered unsafe. High barriers cause obstruction of view on on/off ramps, leading to increased casualties, concrete surfaces increase the braking distance over asphalt and the concrete crash barriers were considered harardous here as they cause vehicles to either bounce off or flip over them due to their rigidity. The British metal crash barriers were designed to give by a few feet so that the vehicle (trucks included) would be guided along by them rather than go straight over the top or bounce off into someone else's lane. Also, any raised division in the road (either on or off) requires many metres of zig-zagged "warning" zone to alert the driver. All these safety features are missing from US roads, hence higher casualty figures.
That's ridiculous. The barriers are not high and view obstructive. The metal barriers are absolutely destructive to car occupants and actually increase the speed of the car destruction. Especially if you are talking about Armaco, which is more destructive than even grouped steel tension cable. That's why this is replaced when possible in the U.S. and replace with collecting concave conrete barrier, which is actually made to keep cars from going over or bouncing too far off. Their shape actually guides the car, and most importantly on high flyovers and bridges, prevents breakthroughs not only from direct action, but as well as being the correct size and shape to actually seize a car on top.

There are warning zones on US highways. Put a tire on the outer stripe and you will understand. At splits such as on and off ramps there are also warning lights, reflectors, signage and at last water filled tanks inside of true shock obsorbant crash barriers that not only rely on the way and crumpling, but has a high tension collapseable structure.

On the myth of asphalt having a shorter breaking zone. Not true. I used to collect data for the NHTSA. There are some interesting findings on asphalt vs concrete. Both have advantages and disadvantages. On an F1 tire, yes concrete is more slippery, but not on yours. Neither is super advantageous when it comes to accidents. Example: Concrete is more dust prone, while asphalt is more prone to weepers(water seeps) and oil seperation causing low viscosity on the road surface. Concrete is more prone to chipping, while asphalt is more prone to warping and true potholes. The higher count of accidents in the U.S. is a percentage capacity, miles driven and time on the road issue. People in the U.S. drive almost everywhere. Most drive everywhere and that simply puts us at more danger.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 12:09 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salvius
US browbeats Europe when it comes to highways. The surface quality is obviously worse -- considering the coverage, weather, the lane width, the number of lanes, etc. this is not a big surprise. On the other hand, the US highways have the clearest direction boards in the world, along with a well marked road, rain or shine. The lanes are luxiriously wide, the interchanges forgiving, and the traffic separation extremely generous. The emergency lanes are infinetely wider and more common -- a real factor in safety. The highway network, on top of all this, is humangous. In terms of connectivity, it is unparalleled.

Basically, it's not a competition.
Its too bad most American drivers are idiots and ruin our highways.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 12:10 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edubejar
I gotta give credit to European highways...not only did many of them have to be built in already-built areas, often densely congested, but many had to be built underground or at very low levels as to disturb as little as possible the existent environment. Many of course, were built in rural areas, as was the case here in the US, where it is much easier to build.

One thing I certainly appreciate about European highways is how clean they tend to be compared to American ones. When I say clean, I am referring to automobile (ESPECIALLY tires) and cargo debris. Perhaps due to the much larger distances (a very big country and state can have its disadvantages!!!), you tend to see so many more cars break down here where I live, tires blow up, and cargo at back of truck pick-ups fall out. I cannot stress out how often I see dangerous debris and cargo on our Texas highways, and how I've almost had to dodge stupid "pick-up" truck drivers with cargo that would fall-out all of the sudden at 70 mph.

@Rantanamo
Perhaps you are a civil engineer specialized in highway construction, in which case I would respect your observations on highway geometrics etc, but you have to admit we US drivers are some of the most clumsy drivers in the world...you probably are right...we probably could not drive in European highways, much less dense European streets, where you have to make very fast choices as to where to turn, exit, enter etc. Remember, overall, European distances tend to be much shorter, and this is reflected in the need to be very fast and alert in Europe.

Just a former NTHSA collector. Patterns were very obvious in our data, and is why many changes to highway design has taken place. Many deaths in the past were totally preventable and why I speak on the safety of highways. There are many dangerous rural highways in the US as well. It usually comes down to cost, age or lack of data when a road is unsafe. Keeping a nice, pretty surface is only a small part of safety.

I wouldn't say U.S. drivers are bad. I would say that we are cheap. Many, many, many. Did I say many? Many accidents in the U.S. are caused by lack of car maintenance. Lack of tire pressure causing flats and easy punctures. Just buying cheap tires. Lack of oil change causing stalls. Lack of brake fluid from leaks or not replacing it, bad brake pads or just cheap ones, etc. Dirty fuel pumps causing stalls. Dry transmissions causing slow shifts. Plus the additions of many more large shipping semis on our highways are all barriers to safety more so than driver skill or speed. This was especially bad before the latest round of large shipping truck safety standards were put into place. Semis from Mexico were causing many accidents in border states from lack of maintenance. Lots of parts falling off. All of the above equal danger more than a road itself could ever do.

Newer and renovated highways are designed with great safety and modern features. It is we, that make them dangerous. Again, I think the European highways look pretty. I'm an F1 fan and I love the look of nicely ground asphalt surfaces and their contrast with the bright safety painted lines. That doesn't make them designed safely though. Remember, the US is the land of lawsuits and car accidents. Municipalities and state and national organizations do not want liability, therefore this is an element that is pretty much built out of the highways and byways.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 12:14 AM   #68
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Not all American drivers are bad but a great number of them don't seem to
belong on the roads or freeways. Good examples are retards doing 50 mph on left lane in 75 mph zone and not moving over. One of things i like about European drivers is that they move over when a faster car aproaches them.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 12:24 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salvius
the US highways have the clearest direction boards in the world, along with a well marked road, rain or shine.
I can't say i've noticed this, compared to the UK for example I didn't think US roads were better. In fact some US interstates don't actually tell you whch towns/cities you're heading towards, they just give the road number.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 12:25 AM   #70
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Its probably true that many drivers are bad in the U.S. or filled with road rage and a "king of the road" sense of entitlement that causes its share of accidents as well., but a huge percentage of accidents come from other things I mentioend above. One thing I failed to mention were the large number of "sleepy" accidents. Sleep people. Get a room or pull over and rest.

- European drivers are better because of stricter rules.
- American drivers drive more, drive longer distances and for whatever reason are cheap and tend to come in a more variety of ages. We recommended max age as well as 18 year old lower age limit many times.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 12:27 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rantanamo
One thing I failed to mention were the large number of "sleepy" accidents. Sleep people. Get a room or pull over and rest.
Do you think that might be because people in the US work longer hours with less holidays
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Old May 25th, 2005, 06:01 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy55
I can't say i've noticed this, compared to the UK for example I didn't think US roads were better. In fact some US interstates don't actually tell you whch towns/cities you're heading towards, they just give the road number.
I think this is due to cultural differences more than anything. In North America, freeway signage usually shows the route number, a cardinal direction, and one (or sometimes two) control cities. The route number tends to be the most prodominant and usefull info to North Americans, whereas the destinatination(s) seems to be the most usefull information to Europeans.

Personally, I prefer following numbers as apposed to cities, but then again, thats what I am used to as a North American.

Cheers!

Last edited by sonysnob; May 25th, 2005 at 07:11 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 06:43 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob
I think this is due to cultural differences more than anything. In North America, freeway signage usually shows the route number, a cardinal direction, and one (or sometimes two) control cities. The route number tends to be the most prodominant and usefull numbers to North Americans, whereas the destinatination(s) seems to be the most usefull information to Europeans.

Personally, I prefer following numbers as apposed to cities, but then again, thats what I am used to as a North American.

Cheers!
Very true. I think that's also why we have more "interesting" highway signage than other countries. Canada seems to use route signage like the U.S.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 02:45 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob
I think this is due to cultural differences more than anything. In North America, freeway signage usually shows the route number, a cardinal direction, and one (or sometimes two) control cities. The route number tends to be the most prodominant and usefull info to North Americans, whereas the destinatination(s) seems to be the most usefull information to Europeans.

Personally, I prefer following numbers as apposed to cities, but then again, thats what I am used to as a North American.

Cheers!
I think it's fine if you know the area and which roads go where but for tourists and people who don't know the area very well it's much more difficult to remember a load of road numbers to get where you want to go rather than just following the signs.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 04:30 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy55
I think it's fine if you know the area and which roads go where but for tourists and people who don't know the area very well it's much more difficult to remember a load of road numbers to get where you want to go rather than just following the signs.
Perhaps, though I found the opposite. North Americans are used to following the numbers. For travelers heading from Michigan to Florida for example, they just Follow I-75, it is irrelevant to them which cities they pass through along the way, therefore the 75 designation is the most important piece of information. Same goes for most tourists and travelers, when they plan there trip, (as most people do), they pull out the map, and generally just follow a number. I find it odd in Europe (particularly Germany) where signage sometimes only makes reference to communities, and not the route number, since I am accustomed (and like) following route numbers.

I alluded to earlier, I really don't think there is a better way of signing guide signage, both the Eurpean and N/A systems both work well for there respective travelers.

Cheers!
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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:52 PM   #76
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I find it odd in Europe (particularly Germany) where signage sometimes only makes reference to communities, and not the route number
Signs in Germany always display both route number plus destination

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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:57 PM   #77
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Thats kind of cluttered looking though.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 11:05 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJoe
Thats kind of cluttered looking though.
Don't talk about things you dont know

This blue sign shows german autobahn number (in that case if u conitues driving u will stay at A1, if u go right u ll get on A28)

Some german roads are part of transeuropean highway system, so they have 2 signs, German number and European number (If u go right u ll be on A28 and E22)

And that number with yellow background shows which road you should follow to reach shown bundestra▀e (interstate) (If u go right after some driving you ll approach to exit that leads to B322)

damn simple

by the way



That is not highway to european standards, it is highest an expressway in italy,

that s what autostrada looks like (like every standard eur. highway)

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Old May 25th, 2005, 11:29 PM   #79
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hmmm ok, whatever. I drive maybe the most impressive piece of highway infrastructure in the world like every week so maybe it takes more to please me.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 11:31 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJoe
hmmm ok, whatever. I drive maybe the most impressive piece of highway infrastructure in the world like every week so maybe it takes more to please me.
Maybe yes, for you, but most europeans dont care how is impressive route, it s just important that the road is qualitative functional and fast, no matters if it has 2 or 10 lanes.
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