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Research Helps Local Agencies Predict Accidents to Make Rural Highways Safer

Posted: Aug 1, 2019

The Wyoming Department of Transportation is using results from MPC research to quantify the benefits of safety countermeasures in Wyoming. The work helps them allocate resources where they will have the largest impact in reducing the frequency and severity of crashes.

In 2010, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials published its first highway safety manual that included safety performance functions (SPFs), regression models used to predict the expected number of crashes for a particular geographic space per unit of time. Those SPFs were based on data from only a few states, which does not adequately represent all states and regions in the United States.

MPC researchers at the University of Wyoming examined 10 years of crash data to develop a modeling framework and estimation methodologies to calibrate SPFs specifically to Wyoming and similar roadways on the Northern Plains and Intermountain West. They also developed procedures that allow the general data collection tools and computing techniques to be calibrated so that their predictions are more accurate for roadways with unique properties and conditions like those found in the Northern Great Plains and Intermountain West.

Mohamed Ahmed, Ph.D.
University of Wyoming

Highway Safety Manual Part D: Validation and Application in Wyoming

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050