Evaluating the impacts of highway geometric design on public health and vehicle emissions

Focus Area

Environmental Enhancements


Environmental Process






2-3 years

Research Idea Scope

Recent studies demonstrated that vehicle toxic emissions (e.g. CO, NOx, and HC) are sensitive to geometric road design, which is also associated with driving stress and in-vehicle noise levels. For example, in-vehicle noise is subject to pavement material and roughness, commuters suffer from higher driving stress while driving on a shorter weaving segment. In this way, it is important to consider public health and vehicle emissions at the stage of geometric design. Therefore, it is proposed to investigate and evaluate drivers’ driving stress, in-vehicle noise, and vehicle emissions while driving on highways with different geometric designs.

Urgency and Payoff

Previous studies show that highway commuters are chronically exposed to vehicle toxic emissions, driving stress and elevated in-vehicle noise, which may result in various adverse health effects, such as hypertension, anxiety levels, fatigue, immune system disturbance, headaches, etc. The research finding of this proposal is able to estimate the risks of the adverse health effects resulted from highway geometric designs, which could be beneficial for roadway engineers and decision makers to design and maintain a sustainable highway system.

Suggested By

Fengxiang Qiao Texas Southern University 7133131915

[email protected]