Researcher Profile

Karla Lechtenberg


IRF: What are the chief problems with developing safety countermeasures on roads with low traffic volumes?

Karla Lechtenberg: Guidance for low-volume roads found in the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide was extrapolated from high-speed and higher-volume design guidelines. Consequently, guidelines for low-traffic volume roads are only loosely based on actual research results and they may be impractical for local road applications due to right-of-way and financial constraints. There is a perception that few cost-effective treatments exist for a reasonable severity reduction.

IRF: What does your research tell us about developing crashworthy treatments on these roads?

Karla Lechtenberg: This research, at times, indicates that the hazard or non-crashworthy treatment may be better to leave in place instead of leaving the hazard unshielded. In some instances, however, the existing treatment may be more of a hazard than the hazard itself. If crashworthy treatments are economical and they reduce the severity of an impact, the research recommends installing a crashworthy treatment. There may also be opportunities to develop new and less expensive crashworthy treatments specifically for low-volume roads.

IRF: As a researcher, what is the chief value of presenting your work at an IRF conference?

Karla Lechtenberg: The chief value of presenting my work at an IRF conference is to disseminate the research results to countries and government agencies that may have the need and use for the research and may not have been aware that the research exists. The more that research is presented, the better chance there is of it being able to help save a life.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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