crash frequency, macro level crash prediction, traffic analysis zones, trip generation


Recent research has shown that incorporating roadway safety in transportation planning has been considered one of the active approaches to improve safety. Aggregate level analysis for predicting crash frequencies had been contemplated to be an important step in this process. As seen from the previous studies various categories of predictors at macro level (census blocks, traffic analysis zones, census tracts, wards, counties and states) have been exhausted to find appropriate correlation with crashes. This study contributes to this ongoing macro level road safety research by investigating various trip productions and attractions along with roadway characteristics within traffic analysis zones (TAZs) of four counties in the state of Florida. Crashes occurring in one thousand three hundred and forty-nine TAZs in Hillsborough, Citrus, Pasco, and Hernando counties during the years 2005 and 2006 were examined in this study. Selected counties were representative from both urban and rural environments. To understand the prevalence of various trip attraction and production rates per TAZ the Euclidian distances between the centroid of a TAZ containing a particular crash and the centroid of the ZIP area containing the at fault driver's home address for that particular crash was calculated. It was found that almost all crashes in Hernando and Citrus County for the years 2005-2006 took place in about 27 miles radius centering at the at-fault drivers' home. Also about sixty-two percent of crashes occurred approximately at a distance of between 2 and 10 miles from the homes of drivers who were at fault in those crashes. These results gave an indication that home based trips may be more associated with crashes and later trip related model estimates which were found significant at 95% confidence level complied with this hypothesized idea. Previous aggregate level road safety studies widely addressed negative binomial distribution of crashes. Properties like non-negative integer counts, non-normal distribution, over-dispersion in the data have increased suitability of applying the negative binomial technique and has been selected to build crash prediction models in this research. Four response variables which were aggregated at TAZ-level were total number of crashes, severe (fatal and severe injury) crashes, total crashes during peak hours, and pedestrian and bicycle related crashes. For each response separate models were estimated using four different sets of predictors which are i) various trip variables, ii) total trip production and total trip attraction, iii) road characteristics, and iv) finally considering all predictors into the model. It was found that the total crash model and peak hour crash model were best estimated by the total trip productions and total trip attractions. On the basis of log-likelihoods, deviance value/degree of freedom, and Pearson Chi-square value/degree of freedom, the severe crash model was best fit by the trip related variables only and pedestrian and bicycle related crash model was best fit by the road related variables only. The significant trip related variables in the severe crash models were home-based work attractions, home-based shop attractions, light truck productions, heavy truck productions, and external-internal attractions. Only two variables- sum of roadway segment lengths with 35 mph speed limit and number of intersections per TAZ were found significant for pedestrian and bicycle related crash model developed using road characteristics only. The 1349 TAZs were grouped into three different clusters based on the quartile distribution of the trip generations and were termed as less-tripped, moderately-tripped, and highly-tripped TAZs. It was hypothesized that separate models developed for these clusters would provide a better fit as the clustering process increases the homogeneity within a cluster. The cluster models were re-run using the significant predictors attained from the joint models and were compared with the previous sets of models. However, the differences in the model fits (in terms of Alkaike's Information Criterion values) were not significant. This study points to different approaches when predicting crashes at the zonal level. This research is thought to add to the literature on macro level crash modeling research by considering various trip related data into account as previous studies in zone level safety have not explicitly considered trip data as explanatory covariates.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date



Abdel-Aty, Mohamed


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Civil Engineering








Release Date

February 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)