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We study the wireless communication among highway vehicles in the newly-assigned 5.9 GHz dedicated short range communication (DSRC) spectrum. A vehicle-vehicle location-based broadcast (LBB) communication protocol is designed to meet highway safety applications' communication requirements. The analytical expressions of the performance of the protocol in terms of probability of transmission failure and channel occupancy are derived with commonly satisfied assumptions. The optimal relation between the performance and design parameters is obtained from the expressions. The sensitivity of the protocol performance is tested for various communication conditions as well as highway traffic conditions. Feasible combinations of the communication and highway traffic parameters are found for certain requirements on protocol performance.