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167145-1 Report Abstract

Applications of Geocoded Traffic Crash Records and Crash-Risk Mapping Technology in Roadway Safety Improvement Projects

Saw-Pin Miaou, and Joon Jin Song, Texas A&M University, March 2005, 65 pp. (167145-1)

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in applying statistical ranking criteria to identify sites on a road network, which potentially present high traffic crash risks or are overrepresented in certain type of crashes, for further engineering evaluation and safety improvement. This requires that good estimates of ranks of crash risks be obtained at individual intersections, road segments, or analysis zones. The objective of the study, on which this report is based, was to explore some of the issues raised in recent roadway safety studies regarding ranking methodologies in light of the recent statistical development in space-time generalized linear mixed models (GLMM). First, general ranking approaches are reviewed, which include naïve or raw crash-risk ranking, scan based ranking, and model based ranking. Through simulations, the limitation of using the naïve approach in ranking is illustrated. Second, following the model based approach, the choice of decision parameters and consideration of treatability are discussed. Third, several statistical ranking criteria that have been used in biomedical, health, and other scientific studies are presented from a Bayesian perspective. Their applications in roadway safety are then demonstrated using two data sets: one for individual urban intersections and one for rural two-lane roads at the county level. As part of the demonstration, it is shown how multivariate spatial GLMM can be used to model traffic crashes of several injury severity types simultaneously and how the model can be used within a Bayesian framework to rank sites by crash cost per vehicle-mile traveled (instead of by crash frequency rate). Finally, the significant impact of spatial effects on the overall model goodness-of-fit and site ranking performances are discussed for the two data sets examined. The report is concluded with a discussion on possible directions in which the study can be extended.

Keywords: Roadway Safety, Problem Site Identification, Bayesian Ranking Method, Small Area/Domain Estimation Problem, Disease Mapping Problem, Generalized Linear Mixed Model, Decision Parameter, Treatability, Statistical Ranking Criterion, Spatial Dependence

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 6.2 MB)