Road Weather Management Program
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Best Practices for Road Weather Management Version 2.0


An Investigation on Severity of Rural Highway Crashes in Kansas


This paper presents the details of an investigation aimed at identifying critical factors contributing towards increased crash severity in rural areas. Crash data from KARS (Kansas Accident Reporting System) database was analyzed and crash severity was modeled using ordered choice models. The results indicated that many driver related factors, such as alcohol involvement, lack of seat belt usage, excessive speed, and driver ejection or being trapped due to the crash are contributory towards increased severity of crashes in rural highways. It also showed that, severities of single vehicle crashes are higher as compared to two-vehicle and animal-vehicle crashes. However, when two vehicles collide, head-on, angle, rearend and sideswipe collisions have higher propensity of resulting in higher severities. Roadway geometry related parameters, such as curved and graded roads are also contributory towards increased crash severity in rural areas. In contrast, under wet road surface conditions, probability of having a more severe crash is low. Driver cautiousness under such conditions resulting in reduced speeds might have led to this situation.


84th Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting, Kansas State University. For an electronic copy of this resource, please direct your request to

Date: 2005


Dissanayake, Ratnayake


Driver behavior
Pavement condition

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