Case Study using Probe Vehicle Speeds to Assess Roadway Safety in Georgia

Speed is a primary risk factor for road crashes and injuries. Previous research has attempted to ascertain the relationship between individual vehicle speeds, aggregated speeds, and crash frequency on roadways. Although there is a large body of research linking vehicle speeds to safety outcomes, there is not a widely applied performance metric for safety based on regularly reported speeds. With the increasingly widespread availability of probe vehicle speed data, there is an opportunity to develop network-level safety performance metrics. This analysis examined the relationship between percentile speeds and crashes on a principal arterial in Metropolitan Atlanta. This study used data from the National Performance Metric Research Data Set (NPMRDS), the Georgia Electronic Accident Reporting System, and the Highway Performance Monitoring System. Negative binomial regression models were used to analyze the relationship between speed percentiles, and speed differences to crash frequency on roadway sections. Results suggested that differences in speed percentiles, a measure of speed dispersion, are related to the frequency of crashes. Based on the models, the difference in the 85th percentile and median speed is proposed as a performance metric. This difference is easily measured using NPMRDS probe vehicle speeds, and provides a practical performance metric for assessing safety on roadways.


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  • Accession Number: 01751888
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Sep 12 2020 3:03PM