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A Tool to Evaluate the Safety Effects of Changes in Freeway Traffic Flow


  • Golob, Thomas F.
  • Recker, Wilfred W.
  • Alvarez, Veronica M.


This research involves the development of a tool that can be used to assess the changes in traffic safety tendencies that result from changes in traffic flow. The tool uses data from single inductive loop detectors, converting 30-second observations of volume and occupancy for multiple freeway lanes into traffic flow regimes. Each regime has a specific pattern of crash types, which were determined through nonlinear multivariate analyses of over 1,000 crashes on freeways in Southern California. These analyses revealed ways in which differences in variances in speeds and volumes across lanes, as well as central tendencies of speeds and volumes, combine in complex ways to explain crash taxonomy. This research may provide the foundation to forecast the crash rates, in terms of vehicle miles of travel, for vehicles that are exposed to different traffic flow conditions.

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  • Golob, Thomas F. & Recker, Wilfred W. & Alvarez, Veronica M., 2003. "A Tool to Evaluate the Safety Effects of Changes in Freeway Traffic Flow," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt1kn30323, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:itsrrp:qt1kn30323

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jones-Lee, M W, 1990. "The Value of Transport Safety," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 39-60, Summer.
    2. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-260, May.
    3. Dickerson, Andrew & Peirson, John & Vickerman, Roger, 2000. "Road Accidents and Traffic Flows: An Econometric Investigation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(265), pages 101-121, February.
    4. Varaiya, Pravin, 2001. "Freeway Performance Measurement System, PeMS v3, Phase 1: Final Report," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt20p1j2w7, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
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