Investigating the effect of pavement distresses on traffic road safety in Kampala.
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The road network is the backbone of transport systems in Uganda. The entire road network in Uganda totals to 144,785 km of this only 5,100 km (4%) is paved, the rest being gravel or earth roads. Road safety is a major priority for public use and for transportation agencies. Road safety statistics show that urban areas have a big road safety challenge due to the high volumes and nature of transport operations. Over years, Uganda has not been spared from the heavy burden of road traffic incidents (RTIs). Most of these accidents are attributed to poor driver behaviour and road geometrical design, with only a small but significant number attributed to road defects despite Uganda’s poor maintenance and repair culture. Little has been done to establish the effect of these distresses on accidents in Uganda. This study focused on analysing the influence of pavement distresses (defects) on traffic road safety on selected Uganda’s roads for the year 2019. This was done through determining the common defects on the selected Uganda’s roads, estimating the number of accidents caused as a result of these defects and coming up with the relationship between the defects and road traffic safety. Based on the above, appropriate measures against these accidents caused by defects were suggested. Defect’s data on the selected Uganda’s roads was collected through visual assessment and field measurement of the pavement distresses. Road defect’s data showed the percentage of the road affected by different defects and the IRI values for each road based on the present defects. Accident data was obtained from the police stations in which the selected roads are located. Accident severity was categorized into Fatal, serious and minor injury crashes. This data was then analysed to establish trends and relationship between the defects and road traffic safety. Appropriate measures were suggested for these accidents caused by defects.