Investigating factors of crash frequency with random effects and random parameters models: New insights from Chinese freeway study

In response to the rapid economic growth in China, its freeway system has become the longest in the world and likely will continue to expand. Unfortunately, the safety issues on freeways in China have grown as well and are of great concern to Chinese transportation authorities and drivers. While many proven safety countermeasures developed and implemented by other countries are available for reference, they may be not fully transferrable to China due to the differences in driving cultures and conditions. As a result, an investigation of China’s unique safety factors and effective relevant countermeasures are urgently needed.The study presented in this paper thoroughly investigated the factors contributing to freeway crashes in China based on detailed crash data, traffic characteristics, freeway geometry, pavement conditions, and weather conditions. To properly account for the over-dispersion of data and unobserved heterogeneity, a random effects negative binomial (RENB) model and a random parameters negative binomial (RPNB) model were applied, along with a negative binomial (NB) model. The analysis revealed a large number of crash frequency factors, including several interesting and important factors rarely studied in the past, such as the safety effects of climbing lanes. Moreover, the RENB and RPNB models were found to considerably outperform the NB model; however, although the RPNB exhibited better goodness-of-fit than the RENB model, the difference was rather small. The findings of this study shed more light on the factors influencing freeway crashes in China. The results will be useful to highway designers and engineers for creating, building, and operating safe freeways as well as to safety management departments for developing effective safety countermeasures. The study presented in this paper also provides additional guidance for choosing relevant methods to analyze safety and to identify safety factors.


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  • Accession Number: 01679949
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 31 2018 1:45PM