Rural road accident investigation and prevention in Iran
The objectives are to examine rural road accident data in order to develop a method by which high accident rate locations and accident causes can be identified, and also to develop proposals for improvements at such locations and to identify measures which will improve road safety throughout the country. The problem of road safety in Iran is an important issue, because of the tragic and unnecessary loss of life, and the enormous cost of accidents in the country. The resources available to deal with the problems are limited and must be allocated on priority basis. This study represents an initial effort to identify the extent of the problem in order to take remedial measures. A study was made of all the available road accident data collected by agencies related to road safety in Iran, and the major organisations responsible for road safety development were visited. The Vice Minister of Roads and Transportation selected for this study a 280 Km rural road in South West Iran. Mainly because of the lack of suitable maps and plans of the roads, it was not possible to accurately identify the location of accidents. Accident scene data was subsequently collected by the highway police and personally by the author. The data for the study road was then analysed to identify 'high accident rate' locations, and also to determine, as far as was possible, the reasons for the accidents. The study suggests specific improvements for each of the high accident rate locations examined (eg. the building of dual carriageways with central guard rails to reduce the risk of collision with oncoming vehicles, pedestrian facilities to allow pedestrians to cross dangerous roads). In addition recommendations are made to guide and assist the major organisations responsible for road safety in Iran. These recommendations are: (a) for improving accident data collection and storage; (b) for subsequent analysis for taking remedial measures with a view to accident prevention.