Finite mixture modeling approach for developing crash modification factors in highway safety analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study aimed to investigate the relative performance of two models (negative binomial (NB) model and two-component finite mixture of negative binomial models (FMNB-2)) in terms of developing crash modification factors (CMFs). Crash data on rural multilane divided highways in California and Texas were modeled with the two models, and crash modification functions (CMFunctions) were derived. The resultant CMFunction estimated from the FMNB-2 model showed several good properties over that from the NB model. First, the safety effect of a covariate was better reflected by the CMFunction developed using the FMNB-2 model, since the model takes into account the differential responsiveness of crash frequency to the covariate. Second, the CMFunction derived from the FMNB-2 model is able to capture nonlinear relationships between covariate and safety. Finally, following the same concept as those for NB models, the combined CMFs of multiple treatments were estimated using the FMNB-2 model. The results indicated that they are not the simple multiplicative of single ones (i.e., their safety effects are not independent under FMNB-2 models). Adjustment Factors (AFs) were then developed. It is revealed that current Highway Safety Manual's method could over- or under-estimate the combined CMFs under particular combination of covariates. Safety analysts are encouraged to consider using the FMNB-2 models for developing CMFs and AFs.

published proceedings

  • Accid Anal Prev

author list (cited authors)

  • Park, B., Lord, D., & Wu, L.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Park, Byung-Jung||Lord, Dominique||Wu, Lingtao

publication date

  • December 2016