Safety performance functions (SPFs) are essential in road safety since they are used to predict crash frequencies. They are commonly applied for detecting hot spots in network screening and assessing whether road safety countermeasures are effective. In the Highway Safety Manual (HSM), SPFs are provided for several crash classifications for several types of roadway facilities. The SPFs of the HSM are developed using data from multiple states. In regions where jurisdiction specific SPFs are not available, it is custom to adopt nationwide SPFs for crash predictions then apply a calibration factor. Yet, the research is limited regarding the application of national SPFs for local jurisdictions. In this study, the topic of transferability is explored by examining rural multilane highway SPFs from Florida, Ohio, and California. That is for both divided segments and intersections. Traffic, road geometrics and crash data from the three states are collected to develop one-state, two-state and three-state SPFs. The SPFs are negative binomial models taking the form of those of the HSM. Evaluation of the transferability of models is undertaken by calculating a measure known as the transfer index. It is used to explain which SPFs may be transferred tolerably to other jurisdictions. According to the results, the transferability of rural divided segments' SPFs of Florida to California and vice versa is superior to that of Ohio's SPFs. For four-leg signalized intersections, neither state's models are transferable to any state. Also, the transfer index indicates improved transferability when using pooled data from multiple states. Furthermore, a modified version of the Empirical Bayes method that is responsible for segment specific adjustment factors is proposed as an alternative to the HSM calibration method. It is used to adjust crash frequencies predicted by the SPFs being transferred to the jurisdiction of interest. The modified method, proposed, outperforms the HSM calibration method as per the analysis results.


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Graduation Date





Abdel-Aty, Mohamed


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering

Degree Program

Civil Engineering; Transportation System Engineering









Release Date

June 2019

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)