Development of adjustment functions to assess combined safety effects of multiple treatments on rural two-lane roadways



J. Park;M. Abdel-Aty


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Abbreviated Journal Title

Accid. Anal. Prev.


Safety effectiveness; Crash modification factors and functions; Multiple; treatments; Combining method; Adjustment factors and functions; Empirical Bayes; Highway Safety Manual; CRASH MODIFICATION FUNCTIONS; HIGHWAYS; TRENDS; Ergonomics; Public, Environmental & Occupational Health; Social; Sciences, Interdisciplinary; Transportation


Numerous studies have attempted to evaluate the safety effectiveness of specific single treatment on roadways by estimating crash modification factors (CMFs). However, there is a need to also assess safety effects of multiple treatments since multiple treatments are usually simultaneously applied to roadways. Due to the lack of sufficient CMFs of multiple treatments, the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) provides combining method for multiple CMFs. However, it is cautioned in the HSM and related sources that combined safety effect of multiple CMFs may be over or under estimated. Moreover, the literature did not evaluate the accuracy of the combining method using CMFs obtained from the same study area. Thus, the main objectives of this research are: (1) to estimate CMFs and crash modification functions (CM Functions) for two single treatments (shoulder rumble strips, widening (1-9 ft) shoulder width) and combination (installing shoulder rumble strips + widening shoulder width) using the observational before-after with empirical Bayes (EB) method and (2) to develop adjustment factors and functions to assess combined safety effects of multiple treatments based on the accuracy of the combined CMFs for multiple treatments estimated by the existing combining method. Data was collected for rural two-lane roadways in Florida and Florida-specific safety performance functions (SPFs) were estimated for different crash types and severities. The CM Functions and adjustment functions were developed using linear and nonlinear regression models. The results of before-after with EB method show that the two single treatments and combination are effective in reducing total and SVROR (single vehicle run-off roadway) crashes. The results indicate that the treatments were more safety effective for the roadway segments with narrower original shoulder width in the before period. It was found that although the CMFs for multiple treatments (i.e., combination of two single treatments) were generally lower than CMFs for single treatments, they were getting similar to the roadway segments with wider shoulder width. The findings indicate that the combined safety effects of multiple treatments using HSM combining method are mostly over-estimated and the accuracy of HSM combining method vary based on crash types and severity levels. Therefore, it is recommended to develop and apply the adjustment factors and functions to predict the safety effects of multiple treatments when the HSM combining method is used. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Journal Title

Accident Analysis and Prevention



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