Developing accident-speed relationships using a new modelling approach

This thesis re-examines accident-speed relationships by developing a new accident data aggregation method that enables improved representation of the road conditions just before accident occurrences in order to evaluate the impact of a potential speed limit increase on the UK motorways (e.g. from 70 mph to 80 mph). In this work, accidents are aggregated according to the similarity of their pre-accident traffic and geometric conditions, forming an alternative accident count dataset termed as the condition-based approach. Accident-speed relationships are separately developed and compared for both approaches (i.e. link-based and condition-based) by employing the reported annual accidents that occurred on the Strategic Road Network of England in 2012 along with traffic and geometric variables. The results of the condition-based models imply that single-vehicle accidents of all severities and multiple-vehicle accidents with fatal or serious injuries increase at higher speed conditions, particularly when these are combined with lower volumes. Multiple-vehicle slight injury accidents were not found to be related with higher speeds, but instead with congested traffic. The outcomes of the link-based model were almost the opposite; suggesting that the speed-accident relationship is negative. The differences between the results reveal that data aggregation may be crucial, yet so far overlooked in the methodological aspect of accident data analyses. By employing the speed elasticity of motorway accidents that was derived from the calibrated condition-based models it has been found that a 10 mph increase in UK motorway speed limit (i.e. from 70 mph to 80 mph) would result in a 6-12% increase in fatal and serious injury accidents and 1-3% increase in slight injury accidents.


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01596288
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 20 2016 1:55PM