Wrong-Way Driving: Crash Data Analysis and Safety Countermeasures
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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Wrong-way driving (WWD) on controlled-access highways has been a consistent issue since the introduction of Interstate systems in the 1950s. Despite all the efforts to overcome the issue, there is still much to learn. This dissertation, as the first of its kind, tries to systematically address the problem by using a data-driven approach that combines a bolstered database, from the states of Alabama and Illinois, with the appropriate statistical tools. As the first step, WWD crashes are characterized compared to non-WWD crashes on controlled-access highways. This statistical comparison enables the researchers to identify several characteristics that delineates between these two types of crashes and to selectively bring them to the attention of the policy-makers. The method proposed for this analysis is being used for the first time in the traffic and safety engineering literature. As the next step, the aim is to identify variables that significantly affect the driver injury severity in a WWD crash. Given the severe nature of WWD crashes, this analysis can further help characterize these crashes and propose appropriate countermeasures. After characterizing WWD crashes at these levels, the next step is to explore various countermeasures that may affect WWD crashes. To this end, an extensive review on the existing literature was conducted and geometric features of parclo interchanges, as one of the most WWD-prone interchanges, were chosen for further investigation. The analysis of these geometric elements provided a good understanding of the role of these elements on the likelihood of WWD entries using crash data.