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In many active safety applications, each vehicle must periodically disseminate a beacon message including the status information, such as position, speed, steering, etc., so that a neighbor vehicle can better perceive and predict the kinematics of the vehicle sending this message. However, a simple broadcasting of beacon message may lead to a low message reception as well as an excessive delay. To resolve this problem, we consider the requirements of an active safety application, a channel load and a vehicle mobility in a highway scenario of vehicular networks. Based on these requirements, we analyze the impact of the following three key parameters of the beacon dissemination on the performance of vehicular networks: beacon period, beacon transmission power, and contention window (CW) size. We first derive a beacon period which is inversely proportional to the vehicle speed. Next, we mathematically formulate the maximum beacon load to demonstrate the necessity of the transmission power control. We finally present an approximate closed-form solution of the optimal CW size that leads to the maximum throughput of beacon messages in vehicular networks.