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Modeling Crash Injury Severity by Road Feature to Improve Safety

Publication Information

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Publication Type:

Objective: The objective of this research is 2-fold: to (a) model and identify critical road features (or locations) based on crash injury severity and compare it with crash frequency and (b) model and identify drivers who are more likely to contribute to crashes by road feature. Method: Crash data from 2011 to 2013 were obtained from the Highway Safety Information System (HSIS) for the state of North Carolina. Twenty-three different road features were considered, analyzed, and compared with each other as well as no road feature. A multinomial logit (MNL) model was developed and odds ratios were estimated to investigate the effect of road features on crash injury severity. Results: Among the many road features, underpass, end or beginning of a divided highway, and on-ramp terminal on crossroad are the top 3 critical road features. Intersection crashes are frequent but are not highly likely to result in severe injuries compared to critical road features. Roundabouts are least likely to result in both severe and moderate injuries. Female drivers are more likely to be involved in crashes at intersections (4-way and T) compared to male drivers. Adult drivers are more likely to be involved in crashes at underpasses. Older drivers are 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a crash at the end or beginning of a divided highway.

Conclusions: The findings from this research help to identify critical road features that need to be given priority. As an example, additional advanced warning signs and providing enlarged or highly retroreflective signs that grab the attention of older drivers may help in making locations such as end or beginning of a divided highway much safer. Educating drivers about the necessary skill sets required at critical road features in addition to engineering solutions may further help them adopt safe driving behaviors on the road.



Penmetsa, P. & Pulugurtha, S.S. (2018). Modeling Crash Injury Severity by Road Feature to Improve Safety. Traffic Injury Prevention, 19, pp 102-109.

Publishing Date:
January 2018
FHWA Program(s):
AMRP Program(s):
Safety Data and Analysis
FHWA Activities:
Highway Safety Information System
Subject Area:
Safety and Human Factors