SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1973

High Speed Skid Resistance and the Effects of Surface Texture on the Accident Rate


Equipment was designed and built to conduct skid resistance tests at speeds up to 75 mph. Results of tests indicate that the skid performance of a pavement surface may be adequately projected from the standard 40-mph test speed. Texture measurements on surface cores may be used to predict 40-mph skid numbers (SN) with a reasonable degree of accuracy. SN's, determined from texture measurements, exhibit a high degree of correlation with locked wheel skid values.

Analysis of over 450 accidents occurring at 75 locations included in the study indicate that the incidence of accidents increases on wet pavements when the SN is 40 or below. The costs of constructing and maintaining equipment capable of high speed skid testing are considerably higher than for equipment with a 40 mph capability. It has been recommended that future skid testing may be conducted at 40 mph, and a reasonable degree of confidence may be placed upon these tests to predict performance at higher test speeds.

Author Information

Moore, AB
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.
Humphreys, JB
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.
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Developed by Committee: E17
Pages: 91–100
DOI: 10.1520/STP38895S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5577-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0102-9