Estimating crash modification factors for lane-departure countermeasures in Kansas



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Kansas State University


Lane-departure crashes are the most predominant crash type in Kansas which causes very high number of motor vehicle fatalities. Therefore, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has implemented several different types of countermeasures to reduce the number of motor vehicle fatalities associated with lane-departure crashes. This research was conducted to estimate the safety effectiveness of commonly used lane-departure countermeasures in Kansas on all crashes and lane-departure crashes using Crash Modification Factors (CMFs). Paved shoulders, rumble strips, safety edge treatments and median cable barriers were identified as the commonly used lane-departure countermeasures on both tangent and curved road segments while chevrons and post-mounted delineators were identified as the most commonly used lane-departure countermeasures on curved road segments. This research proposes a state-of-art method of estimating CMFs using cross-sectional data for chevrons and post-mounted delineators. Furthermore, another state-of-art method is proposed in this research to estimate CMFs for safety edge treatments using before-and-after data.
Considering the difficulties of finding the exact date of implementation of each countermeasure, both cross-sectional and before-and-after studies were employed to estimate the CMFs. Cross-sectional and case-control methods, which are the two major methods in cross-sectional studies were employed to estimate CMFs for paved shoulders, rumble strips, and median cable barriers. The conventional cross-sectional and case-control methods were modified when estimating CMFs for chevrons and post-mounted delineators by incorporating environmental and human behaviors in addition to geometric and traffic-related explanatory variables. The proposed method is novel and has not been used in the previous cross-sectional models available in the literature. Generalized linear regression models assuming negative binomial error structure were used to develop models for cross-sectional method to estimate CMFs while logistic regression models were used to estimate CMFs using case-control method. Results showed that incorporating environmental and human-related variables into cross-sectional models provide better model fit than in conventional cross-sectional models. To validate the developed models for cross-sectional method, mean of the residuals and the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) were used. For the case-control method, Receiver Operational Characteristic (ROC) was used to evaluate the predictive power of models for a binary outcome using classification tables. However, it was seen that the case-control method is not suitable for estimating CMFs for all crashes since the range of the crash frequency is wide in each road segment. A regression-based method of estimating CMFs using before-and-after data was proposed to estimate CMFs for safety edge treatments. This method allows researchers to identify the safety effectiveness of an individual CMFs on road segments where multiple treatments have been applied at the same time. Since this method uses road geometric and traffic-related characteristics in addition to countermeasure information as the explanatory variables, the model itself would be the Safety Performance Function (SPF). Therefore, developing new SPF is not necessary. Finally, the CMFs were estimated using before-and-after Empirical Bayes method to validate the results from the regression-based method. The results of this study can be used as a decision-making tool when implementing lane-departure countermeasures on similar roadways in Kansas. Even though there are readily available CMFs from the national level studies, having more localized CMFs will be beneficial due to differences in traffic-related and geometric characteristics on different roadways.



Traffic safety, Cross-sectional method, Case-control method, Before-and-after regression method, Environmental and human behaviours, Lane-departure crashes

Graduation Month



Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Sunanda Dissanayake