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Crash Facts

Data

Crash Data Analysis

In conventional traffic safety evaluations, the outcome measure is typically the frequency of police-reported crashes, often with separate estimates for different severity levels. However, some treatments may decrease some crash types but increase others. If these crash types are characterized by different average injury severities, then comparing crash frequencies will not provide the user with an accurate picture of treatment effectiveness. Such a scenario led to development of the crash cost estimates by crash geometry described in this report. An example of this scenario can be found in an evaluation of red-light camera (RLC) programs in seven jurisdictions nationwide funded by the FHWA Intelligent Transportation System Joint Program Office and the Office of Safety Research and Development. RLC programs can be expected to decrease angle-type crashes, but to increase rear end crashes. The former is usually more severe than the latter. For that reason, the study not only examined crash frequency by type, but also included crash severity in the analysis by converting each crash to an economic cost, based on unit costs by police-reported crash severity.
Page last modified on September 4, 2014.
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