The effect of resurfacing on friction, speeds and safety on main roads in Finland

Lars Leden (Corresponding Author), Olli Hämäläinen, Esa Manninen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed at examining how resurfacing and the first winter period after resurfacing affect the safety of main roads in Finland.
The study consisted of three substudies. In the first substudy the changes of side friction and lock braking friction were measured on newly paved roads after resurfacing and after the first winter period. The effect of different resurfacing methods was also compared in the course of the study.
All the 50 road sections in the study were resurfaced in summer 1991 and measured with the friction truck of the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). Friction was found to be highly dependent on the type of resurfacing treatment. In general, the friction of surfaces with high coefficients after resurfacing decrease and the lowest frictions increase with time, locked braking friction values immediately after resurfacing can be undesirably low.

The second substudy dealt with the effect of resurfacing on the vehicle speeds. The analysis was based on automatic speed and weather measurement in 1991 and 1992 on resurfaced roads, which were resurfaced in the summer 1991 and on a sample of comparison roads which had not been resurfaced.
There is little change in speeds on the non-resurfaced roads during the study period, but there is some indication that resurfacing increases the average speeds, at least when the road is dry.
Complete data were available for only one site, where the result was that average speeds on dry roads increased after resurfacing by 0.6 km/h and increased still more (by 0.5 km/h) after the first winter period.

The third substudy analysed fatal and injury accidents reported to the police on the resurfaced and comparison roads one and two years before, the same year resurfacing was performed and one and two years after the resurfacing.
The accident results were similar to the speed findings. The most likely effect is a risk increase immediately after resurfacing by somewhat less than 7% and of 3 to 7% of the first winter period.
These results are, however, subject to large uncertainty because of the small number of accidents on the treatment roads.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-85
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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