Road Tunnels Manual

You are here

Specific hazards in road tunnels

The tunnel environment influences the hazards of road traffic in a specific way:

  • on the one hand the confined space of a tunnel provides protection against various influences which may cause incidents (e.g. weather conditions), thus reducing the frequency of various types of incidents
  • on the other hand the confined space increases the consequences of collisions and in particular the consequences of fires and limits the accessibility to the site of incident, thus impeding self-rescue as well as assistance by rescue services

Hence in tunnels there is a trend towards less frequent, but (much) more severe incidents.

Tunnel safety studies typically focus on significant incidents, which have the potential to develop into events with serious consequences, mainly with collisions and fires. Furthermore, the manifold hazards potentially caused by dangerous goods require special attention. As an unrestricted availability of underground traffic infrastructure is crucial  for economy as well as mobility, in particular on major transport axis and in areas with high traffic loads like big cities, events potentially causing significant traffic interruptions are additionally put into the center of attention. In this context security aspects have been gaining importance in the recent years.

Reference sources

No reference sources found.