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Sight Distance

• Sight Distance

- Stopping Sight Distance (SSD)


- Decision Sight Distance (DSD)
- Passing Sight Distance for two-lane highways (PSD)
- Intersection Sight Distance (ISD) (details to be introduced in
Intersection Design Class)

lecture 7
Sight Distance in Highway Geometric Design

Sight distance – Length of the roadway ahead visible to drivers, must allow driver
to perceive, reaction, stop, change speed, and swerve etc. when necessary

- Stopping Sight Distance

1. Brake reaction time/perception & reaction distance (d1) Plus Braking


distance (d2)

Perception Reaction Time -GB recommended : 2.5 s


May not adequate for the most complex, unexpected conditions encountered
in actual driving;

The most complex condition may include but are not limited to: multiphase
intersections, complex ramp terminals, etc. – (that is why DSD is needed)
Perception reaction distance:

d1  1.47vt
v – design speed, mph;
t – perception & reaction time, 2.5 s
d1 - ft
(unit specific)
2. Braking distance – the distance required to stop after brake activation

2
1.075v
d2 
a
v – design speed, mph;
a – deceleration rate, ft/s2
d2 - ft
(unit specific)
a: GB recommendation 11.2 ft/s2, (> 90th percentile drivers), in emergency
“a” may be larger than 14.8 ft/s2.

SSD = d1 + d2;
2
v
d  1.47vt  1.075
a
for design:

Source: Green book, pp. 112


Effect of Grade on SSD – adjust d2 only:

G: Grade in percent

Inside GB equations of SSD:

Used: passenger car, object height: 2 ft., eye-height: 3.5 ft.


Truck: high eye-height compensate lower acceleration/deceleration rate, no
Separate design needed except for downgrade condition.
Source: Green book, pp. 115
Decision Sight Distance is the distance required to detect an information source
Difficult to perceive.. recognize the hazard, select the appropriate action and
Complete the maneuver.
(intersection area,
Interchange area
(or other places where
needs to make
speed/path/direction
Changes)

Source: Green book, pp. 115


Calculation of DSD of Avoidance Maneuver A & B:
v2
d  1.47vt  1.075
a
For Maneuver A, t = 3.0 sec
For Maneuver B, t = 9.1 sec

Calculation of DSD of Avoidance Maneuver C,D, & E:

d  1.47vt
For Maneuver C, t = 10.2-11.2 sec
For Maneuver D, t = 12.1-12.9 sec
For Maneuver E, t=14.0-14.5 sec
Two phase passing maneuver

d1 1/3d2

2/3d2
d1 d2 d3 d4

Source: Green book, pp. 119


Four passing distances:

d1 = distanced traversed during perception/reaction time to the point where the


vehicle just enters the left lane;
(Note: “reaction” here means accelerating instead of breaking)
at1
d1  1.47t1 (v  m  )
2
t1
t1

Source: Green book, pp. 120


Four passing distances:

d2 = distanced traversed while driving on the left lane

d2  1.47vt2
d3 = clearance length
d4 = distance traversed by an opposing vehicle (assuming opposing vehicle
travel at the same speed of passing vehicle), usually taken as 2/3d2
d  d1  d 2  d 3  d 4

Source: Green book, pp. 124


Assumptions in PSD calculation:

Source: Green book, pp. 118


Intersection sight decision

Sight triangle
Source: Green book, pp. 656