AbstractThe present study aims to develop vehicle type-wise operating-speed prediction (OSP) models for heterogeneous traffic on two-lane rural highways in Indian hilly terrains. For the present study, 27 curves with varying geometric characteristics located along the National Highway (NH-953) connecting Netrang and Rajpipla in the western state of Gujarat, India, were selected. Speed data were collected using radar guns at three curve locations (entry point, midpoint, and exit point) in each travel direction for three dominant types of vehicles: motorized two-wheelers (2W), cars, and heavy commercial vehicles (HCVs). OSP models were developed for different vehicle types at three curve points using the backward elimination stepwise regression (BSR) technique. The results revealed that the preceding curve point’s operating speed, curve length, and tangent length positively affected operating speed. In contrast, deflection angle, curve sharpness, and grade had adverse effects. The curve geometric characteristics had the most negligible impact on the operating speed of 2W and a significant effect on HCV. Among all the curve-related aspects, curve length was the most significant variable and affected the speed of all three vehicle types, followed by curve sharpness. Further, the developed OSP models were applied to the other hilly terrain to check the transferability of the model. As an important outcome, the developed OSP models were used to evaluate geometric design consistency. This highlights the need for geometric and traffic-calming measures to improve highway operating-speed consistency and driver safety.

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