Document Type

Conference Paper


This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Civil engineering

Publication Details

6th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, Stresa, Italy, 2012.


This paper considers the problem of assessing traffic loading on road bridges. A database of European WIM data is used to determine accurate annual maximum distributions of load effect. These in turn are used to find the probability of failure for a number of load effects. Using the probability of failure as the benchmark, traditional measures of safety – factor of safety and reliability index – are reviewed. Both are found to give inconsistent results, i.e., a given factor of safety or reliability index actually corresponds to a range of different probabilities of failure.