Application of the Conway-Maxwell-Poisson generalized linear model for analyzing motor vehicle crashes. Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper documents the application of the Conway-Maxwell-Poisson (COM-Poisson) generalized linear model (GLM) for modeling motor vehicle crashes. The COM-Poisson distribution, originally developed in 1962, has recently been re-introduced by statisticians for analyzing count data subjected to over- and under-dispersion. This innovative distribution is an extension of the Poisson distribution. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the application of the COM-Poisson GLM for analyzing motor vehicle crashes and compare the results with the traditional negative binomial (NB) model. The comparison analysis was carried out using the most common functional forms employed by transportation safety analysts, which link crashes to the entering flows at intersections or on segments. To accomplish the objectives of the study, several NB and COM-Poisson GLMs were developed and compared using two datasets. The first dataset contained crash data collected at signalized four-legged intersections in Toronto, Ont. The second dataset included data collected for rural four-lane divided and undivided highways in Texas. Several methods were used to assess the statistical fit and predictive performance of the models. The results of this study show that COM-Poisson GLMs perform as well as NB models in terms of GOF statistics and predictive performance. Given the fact the COM-Poisson distribution can also handle under-dispersed data (while the NB distribution cannot or has difficulties converging), which have sometimes been observed in crash databases, the COM-Poisson GLM offers a better alternative over the NB model for modeling motor vehicle crashes, especially given the important limitations recently documented in the safety literature about the latter type of model.

published proceedings

  • Accid Anal Prev

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Lord, D., Guikema, S. D., & Geedipally, S. R.

citation count

  • 158

complete list of authors

  • Lord, Dominique||Guikema, Seth D||Geedipally, Srinivas Reddy

publication date

  • May 2008