Objective: Wrong-way driving (WWD) crashes result in 1.34 fatalities per fatal crash, whereas for other non-WWD fatal crashes this number drops to 1.10. As such, further in-depth investigation of WWD crashes is necessary. The objective of this study is 2-fold: to identify the characteristics that best describe WWD crashes and to verify the factors associated with WWD occurrence. Methods: We collected and analyzed 15 years of crash data from the states of Illinois and Alabama. The final data set includes 398 WWD crashes. The rarity of WWD events and the consequently small sample size of the crash database significantly influence the application of conventional log-linear models in analyzing the data, because they use maximum-likelihood estimation. To overcome this issue, in this study, we employ multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) to define the structure of the crash data set and identify the significant contributing factors to WWD crashes on freeways. Results: The results of the present study specify various factors that characterize and influence the probability of WWD crashes and can thus lead to the development of several safety countermeasures and recommendations. According to the obtained results, factors such as driver age, driver condition, roadway surface conditions, and lighting conditions were among the most significant contributors to WWD crashes. Conclusions: Despite many other methods that identify only the contributing factors, this method can identify possible associations between various contributing factors. This is an inherent advantage of the MCA method, which can provide a major opportunity for state departments of transportation (DOTs) to select safety countermeasures that are associated with multiple safety benefits.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Safety Research
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health