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Conflict Points at an Intersection | Types and Calculation of Conflict Points

Conflict points are the points where two vehicles can potentially collide with each other at road intersections. We can determine the number of conflict points based upon the type of intersection. In this blog, we will cover in detail how to calculate conflict points step by step.



Types of Conflicts or Traffic Manoeuvres


Before getting to know about conflict points it is important to know about the traffic manoeuvres that occur at an intersection. There are essentially four traffic manoeuvres as given below.


  1. Cross conflict

  2. Merge conflict

  3. Diverge conflict

  4. Weaving conflict

Cross conflict is a major conflict, whereas merge, diverge and weaving are considered minor conflicts. Each of these conflicts is discussed in detail below.


1. Cross Conflict

Cross Conflict
Cross Conflict

Cross conflict occurs when two vehicle paths collide with each other i.e., perpendicular to each other. This could lead to a severe accident. This is why cross conflict is considered a major conflict.


2. Merge Conflict

Merge Conflict
Merge Conflict

Merge conflict occurs when a vehicle from another lane or another route converges into a lane of another vehicle. This doesn't lead to a severe accident and therefore it is considered a minor conflict.


3. Diverge Conflict

Diverge Conflict
Diverge Conflict

Diverge conflict occurs when a vehicle moves away from its lane to join another lane or to take another route. As the vehicle switches lanes, it might slow down causing problems to the vehicle immediately behind it. This leads to diverging conflict, but it is considered a minor conflict as it doesn't cause a severe accident.


4. Weaving Conflict

This is a combination of merge and diverge conflict. It usually happens in rotary ways or to switch from the wrong lane to the correct lane.


Steps to Find Potential Conflict Points at an Intersection


Step 1: Draw the intersection


Step 2: Find the nature of traffic movement on a road, i.e., whether it is a one-way or two-way traffic


Step 3: Represent the direction of vehicular traffic on each road


Step 4: Identify the major and minor conflict points based on traffic manoeuvres discussed before


Step 5: Count the total number of conflicts, major conflicts and minor conflicts


Conflict Points Example Problem


Let's consider a three-arm intersection in which each road serving for two-way traffic.


Step 1: Draw the intersection


Step 2: Find the nature of traffic movement on a road, i.e., whether it is one-way or two-way traffic.

Let all roads have two-way traffic


Step 3: Represent the direction of vehicular traffic on each road


Step 4: Identify the major and minor conflict points based on traffic manoeuvres discussed before

Note:

The red circle represents cross conflicts

The blue circle represents merge conflicts

The yellow circle represents diverge conflicts


Step 5: Count the total number of conflicts, major conflicts and minor conflicts


Major conflicts = 3

Minor conflicts = 3 (merge) + 3 (diverge)

Total conflicts = 9


Practise Problem



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