Crash Frequency, Negative Binomial Models, Contingency Tables, Seemingly Unrelated Regression, Logistic Regression, Principal Component Analysis


Traffic crashes have been identified as one of the main causes of death in the US, making road safety a high priority issue that needs urgent attention. Recognizing the fact that more and effective research has to be done in this area, this thesis aims mainly at developing different statistical models related to the road safety. The thesis includes three main sections: 1) overall crash frequency analysis using negative binomial models, 2) seemingly unrelated negative binomial (SUNB) models for different categories of crashes divided based on type of crash, or condition in which they occur, 3) safety models to determine the probability of crash occurrence, including a rainfall index that has been estimated using a logistic regression model. The study corridor is a 36.25 mile stretch of Interstate 4 in Central Florida. For the first two sections, crash cases from 1999 through 2002 were considered. Conventionally most of the crash frequency analysis model all crashes, instead of dividing them based on type of crash, peaking conditions, availability of light, severity, or pavement condition, etc. Also researchers traditionally used AADT to represent traffic volumes in their models. These two cases are examples of macroscopic crash frequency modeling. To investigate the microscopic models, and to identify the significant factors related to crash occurrence, a preliminary study (first analysis) explored the use of microscopic traffic volumes related to crash occurrence by comparing AADT/VMT with five to twenty minute volumes immediately preceding the crash. It was found that the volumes just before the time of crash occurrence proved to be a better predictor of crash frequency than AADT. The results also showed that road curvature, median type, number of lanes, pavement surface type and presence of on/off-ramps are among the significant factors that contribute to crash occurrence. In the second analysis various possible crash categories were prepared to exactly identify the factors related to them, using various roadway, geometric, and microscopic traffic variables. Five different categories are prepared based on a common platform, e.g. type of crash. They are: 1) Multiple and Single vehicle crashes, 2) Peak and Off-peak crashes, 3) Dry and Wet pavement crashes, 4) Daytime and Dark hour crashes, and 5) Property Damage Only (PDO) and Injury crashes. Each of the above mentioned models in each category are estimated separately. To account for the correlation between the disturbance terms arising from omitted variables between any two models in a category, seemingly unrelated negative binomial (SUNB) regression was used, and then the models in each category were estimated simultaneously. SUNB estimation proved to be advantageous for two categories: Category 1, and Category 4. Road curvature and presence of On-ramps/Off-ramps were found to be the important factors, which can be related to every crash category. AADT was also found to be significant in all the models except for the single vehicle crash model. Median type and pavement surface type were among the other important factors causing crashes. It can be stated that the group of factors found in the model considering all crashes is a superset of the factors that were found in individual crash categories. The third analysis dealt with the development of a logistic regression model to obtain the weather condition at a given time and location on I-4 in Central Florida so that this information can be used in traffic safety analyses, because of the lack of weather monitoring stations in the study area. To prove the worthiness of the weather information obtained form the analysis, the same weather information was used in a safety model developed by Abdel-Aty et al., 2004. It was also proved that the inclusion of weather information actually improved the safety model with better prediction accuracy.


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Graduation Date





Abdel-Aty, Mohamed


Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Civil Engineering








Release Date

August 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)