Understanding the Causative, Precipitating, and Predisposing Factors in Rural Two-Lane Crashes

The overall objectives of this study were to (1) identify and explore alternative safety data sources and analysis perspectives and (2) demonstrate the potential utility of these alternative approaches in increasing understanding of precipitating events and predisposing factors for crashes occurring on horizontal curves and at unsignalized intersections along rural two-lane roads. Generalized conceptual crash model frameworks were developed, informed by a review of supporting published literature on conceptual crash models and contributing factors, alternative approaches to accident analysis, and the role of constraints in systemic approaches to accident analysis. The frameworks proved useful from several perspectives, including (1) identifying and organizing all factors that influence the likelihood of a crash and defining the event sequences that lead to a crash, (2) providing terminology that will encourage clear communication across accident analysis disciplines as research on crash causation continues, (3) visualizing the nature by which a certain factor influences the likelihood of a crash or by which an event directly causes a crash, and (4) identifying data needs (versus data availability) for studying the precipitating events, system constraints, predisposing factors, and target groups associated with a specific crash type. After marrying the conceptual crash model framework with available data, a study was conducted to determine whether crash causal types, or similar crashes grouped together based on their key precipitating events, could be developed from data, photographs, and narratives developed from detailed, on-scene crash investigations available in the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey. This was followed by a set of three additional studies primarily focused on alternative safety data sources and analysis perspectives related to predisposing factors. Enhanced data collection and subsequent analysis were demonstrated for three high-priority crash scenarios on rural two-lane roads: “straight crossing path crashes” at unsignalized intersections, combination “control loss/no vehicle action” and “road edge departure/no maneuver” single-vehicle crashes on horizontal curves, and “opposite direction/no maneuver crashes” on horizontal curves. Findings demonstrate that expanding beyond traditional databases used for crash-based evaluations can provide further insight into these crashes. One follow-on analysis in the final part of the study indicated that the alternative approaches to estimating disaggregate measures of exposure, kriging, and quasi-induced demand techniques show some promise and should be considered in future research.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Utah, Salt Lake City

    201 Presidents Circle
    Salt Lake City, UT  United States  84112


    4000 West Chase Boulevard, Suite 530
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27607

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Porter, Richard
    • Himes, Scott
    • Musunuru, Anusha
    • Le, Thanh
    • Eccles, Kim
    • Peach, Kara
    • Tasic, Ivana
    • Zlatkovic, Milan
    • Tatineni, Kailash
    • Duffy, Brendan
  • Publication Date: 2018-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Technical Report
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 280p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01676952
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-HRT-17-079
  • Contract Numbers: DTFH61-12-C-00033
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 20 2018 10:34AM