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Rainfall effect on single-vehicle crash severities using polychotomous response models.

ABSTRACT

As part of the Wisconsin road weather safety initiative, the objective of this study is to assess the effects of rainfall on the severity of single-vehicle crashes on Wisconsin interstate highways utilizing polychotomous response models. Weather-related factors considered in this study include estimated rainfall intensity for 15 min prior to a crash occurrence, water film depth, temperature, wind speed/direction, stopping sight distance and deficiency of car-following distance at the crash moment. For locations with unknown weather information, data were interpolated using the inverse squared distance method. Non-weather factors such as road geometrics, traffic conditions, collision types, vehicle types, and driver and temporal attributes were also considered. Two types of polychotomous response models were compared: ordinal logistic and sequential logistic regressions. The sequential logistic regression was tested with forward and backward formats. Comparative models were also developed for single vehicle crash severity during clear weather. In conclusion, the backward sequential logistic regression model produced the best results for predicting crash severities in rainy weather where rainfall intensity, wind speed, roadway terrain, driver's gender, and safety belt were found to be statistically significant. Our study also found that the seasonal factor was significant in clear weather. The seasonal factor is a predictor suggesting that inclement weather may affect crash severity. These findings can be used to determine the probabilities of single vehicle crash severity in rainy weather and provide quantitative support on improving road weather safety via weather warning systems, highway facility improvements, and speed limit management.