Effects of Transition Curves and Superelevation on the Critical States of Truck Rollovers on Sharp Curves


  • Junxian Chen School of Transportation Engineering, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710064, China https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2025-963X
  • Yonggang Wang School of Transportation Engineering, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710064, China; Key Laboratory of Transport Industry of Management, Control and Cycle Repair Technology for Traffic Network Facilities in Ecological Security Barrier Area, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710064, China https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9365-1851




driving stability, rollover, superelevation, transition curve, traffic safety


Sharp curves are vulnerable sections for rollover accidents. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of transition curve and superelevation on the critical speed and critical braking distance of truck rollovers. Using different transition types (spiral, Bloss and Grabowski curve) and different superelevation values (6%, 120 m transition length and 8%, 160 m) as variables, experiments of constant speed driving and hard braking were simulated and conducted by Trucksim. Conclusions regarding the influence of these road design factors on the stability of vehicles were then proposed. Grabowski curve allowed for the maximum critical rollover speed. The difference in critical rollover speed between different transition types was only determined by the length of the transition section. Simply extending the length of the transition section increased the critical rollover speed of spiral curve, at the same time decreasing the critical speed of Bloss and Grabowski curve. Hard braking experiments showed completely different characteristics. As the initial speed increased, only spiral curve became safer. Increasing superelevation made the braking behaviour of the vehicle more dangerous and fraught with uncertainties due to different target speed, starting curvature and changing superelevation. Based on these findings, a number of useful recommendations for drivers and road designers were put forward.


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How to Cite

Chen, J., & Wang, Y. (2024). Effects of Transition Curves and Superelevation on the Critical States of Truck Rollovers on Sharp Curves. The Baltic Journal of Road and Bridge Engineering, 19(1), 53-70. https://doi.org/10.7250/bjrbe.2024-19.627