Crash Modification Factors for Changes to Left-Turn Phasing Academic Article uri icon


  • This study estimated crash modification factors (CMFs) from beforeafter evaluations of two treatments targeted at reducing left-turn crashes at signalized intersections: (a) changes from permissive to protectedpermissive phasing and (b) the implementation of a flashing yellow arrow for permissive left turns. Results of the first evaluationbased on 59 intersections in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and 12 in North Carolinaindicated a substantial reduction in left-turn opposing through crashes, especially at intersections at which more than one leg was treated, and a small percentage increase in rear-end crashes. For the second evaluation (the implementation of the flashing yellow arrow)based on data from 51 signalized intersections in Oregon, Washington State, and North Carolinathe results indicated a safety benefit at locations with some kind of permissive left-turn operation before and a disbenefit at locations that had a protected-only operation before. The study estimated the standard deviation of the distribution of the CMF in addition to the conventionally estimated standard error of the mean CMF value. For several CMFs, the standard deviation of the distribution was larger than the standard error of the mean value of the CMF and indicated a substantial variation in the effect of the treatment across different sites. This finding indicates the need for further research into the development of crash modification functions instead of CMFs and for the use of large treatment databases to undertake a more extensive disaggregate analysis of the safety effects. The finding also emphasizes the importance of providing a more explicit consideration of CMF variability in future editions of the Highway Safety Manual.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Srinivasan, R., Lyon, C., Persaud, B., Baek, J., Gross, F., Smith, S., & Sundstrom, C.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Srinivasan, Raghavan||Lyon, Craig||Persaud, Bhagwant||Baek, Jongdae||Gross, Frank||Smith, Sarah||Sundstrom, Carl

publication date

  • January 2012