Effects of roadway geometric features on run-off road crashes on the Florida State Highway System
Run-off-road (ROR) crashes have increasingly become a serious concern for transportation officials in the State of Florida. These types of crashes have increased proportionally in recent years statewide and have been the focus of the Florida Department of Transportation. The goal of this research was to develop statistical models that can be used to investigate the possible causal relationships between roadway geometric features and ROR crashes on Florida's rural and urban principal arterials.
In this research, Zero-Inflated Poisson (ZIP) and Zero-Inflated Negative Binomial (ZINB) Regression models were used to better model the excessive number of roadway segments with no ROR crashes. Since Florida covers a diverse area and since there are sixty-seven counties, it was divided into four geographical regions to minimize possible unobserved heterogeneity. Three years of crash data (2000–2002) encompassing those for principal arterials on the Florida State Highway System were used. Several statistical models based on the ZIP and ZINB regression methods were fitted to predict the expected number of ROR crashes on urban and rural roads for each region. Each region was further divided into urban and rural areas, resulting in a total of eight crash models. A best-fit predictive model was identified for each of these eight models in terms of AIC values. The ZINB regression was found to be appropriate for seven of the eight models and the ZIP regression was found to be more appropriate for the remaining model. To achieve model convergence, some explanatory variables that were not statistically significant were included. Therefore, strong conclusions cannot be derived from some of these models.
Given the complex nature of crashes, recommendations for additional research are made. The interaction of weather and human condition would be quite valuable in discerning additional causal relationships for these types of crashes. Additionally, roadside data should be considered and incorporated into future research of ROR crashes.