Temporal instability assessment of injury severities of motor vehicle drivers at give-way controlled unsignalized intersections: A random parameters approach with heterogeneity in means and variances.
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Unsignalized intersections are highly susceptible to traffic crashes compared to signalized ones. By taking into account temporal stability and unobserved heterogeneity, this study investigates the determinants of the injury severity of drivers involved in crashes at unsignalized intersections controlled by give-way (yield) signs. Mixed logit models with three approaches were employed, namely random parameters, random parameters with heterogeneity in means, and random parameters with heterogeneity in means and variances. The investigation covered four years (2015-2018) of motor vehicle crashes in South Australia, and the injury severity was categorized into no injury, minor injury, and severe injury. Log-likelihood ratio tests revealed that there is a significant temporal instability in the four years of crashes. Thus, each year was considered separately to avoid any potential erroneous conclusions and unreliable countermeasures. The study found 28 indicator variables were temporally unstable over the four years of crashes, such as driver gender, time of the crash, rear-end involvement, sideswipes, right-angle crash type, vehicle movement at crash time, and crash time. Whereas several variables were stable over the same period, for example, crashes within metropolitan areas were temporally stable over four years, crashes in dry pavement condition were temporally stable over three consecutive years. Four factors have temporal stability over two consecutive years: alcohol involvement crashes, hitting fixed objects, hitting cyclists, and crashes during winter. Overall, mixed logit models with heterogeneity in means and with/without variance performed better than the standard one. It is recommended that temporal instability be considered in order to avoid any potential inconsistent countermeasures.