Article

Analyzing the severity of accidents on the German Autobahn

Department of Social and Economic Statistics, University of Cologne, Germany. Electronic address: .
Accident; analysis and prevention (Impact Factor: 1.65). 04/2013; 57C:40-48. DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.03.022
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We study the severity of accidents on the German Autobahn in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia using data for the years 2009 until 2011. We use a multinomial logit model to identify statistically relevant factors explaining the severity of the most severe injury, which is classified into the four classes fatal, severe injury, light injury and property damage. Furthermore, to account for unobserved heterogeneity we use a random parameter model. We study the effect of a number of factors including traffic information, road conditions, type of accidents, speed limits, presence of intelligent traffic control systems, age and gender of the driver and location of the accident. Our findings are in line with studies in different settings and indicate that accidents during daylight and at interchanges or construction sites are less severe in general. Accidents caused by the collision with roadside objects, involving pedestrians and motorcycles, or caused by bad sight conditions tend to be more severe. We discuss the measures of the 2011 German traffic safety programm in the light of our results.

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    • "In the area of accident severity research, continuous efforts have been conducted in order to investigate the relationship between the level of severity (dependent variable) and a set of explanatory variables, which usually include: driver attributes (e.g., age and gender), vehicle features (e.g., body type, vehicle age and number of vehicles involved in the accident), road characteristics (e.g., number of lanes, road surface conditions, intersection control and types of road), and accident characteristics (e.g., accident's main cause). Occasionally, the influence of other variables on accident severity like speed limit, day of the week, time of the day, average traffic characteristics (AADT), weather and traffic conditions have also been scrutinized (Delen et al., 2006; Manner and Ziegler, 2013; Torrão, 2013). From previous studies, it is worth mentioning a recent study carried out by Christoforou et al. (2010), mainly because it offers a comprehensive literature review on the subject. "
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    • "Both ordered and unordered models have their own unique benefits and limitations, and the choice of one method over the other is governed by the availability and characteristics of the data and involves taking tradeoffs into consideration (Savolainen et al., 2011; Ye and Lord, 2014). The mixed logit method has been widely applied to analyze crash severities (Anastasopoulos and Mannering, 2011; Chen and Chen, 2011; Haleem and Gan, 2013; Islam et al., 2014; Kim et al., 2008, 2013; Malyshkina and Mannering, 2008; Manner and Wünsch-Ziegler, 2013; Milton et al., 2008; Moore et al., 2011; Morgan and Mannering, 2011; Shaheed et al., 2013; Ye and Lord, 2014; Weiss et al., 2014). The benefit of using this method is that it can accommodate individual unobserved heterogeneity by allowing parameters to differ across observations, and thus, can provide more reliable parameter estimates. "
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