Feasibility of Incorporating Crash Risk in Developing Congestion Mitigation Measures for Interstate Highways: A Case Study of the Hampton Roads Area

Report No: 02-R17

Published in 2002

About the report:

A relationship between traffic flow variables and crash characteristics can greatly help the traffic engineer in the field to arrive at appropriate congestion mitigation measures that not only alleviate congestion and save time but also reduce the probability of crashes. Currently, no such decision support tool is readily available to traffic engineers who now mainly make vital decisions using their experience and intuition. This project investigated the feasibility of developing a methodology in which real-time data can be used to decide on diversion strategies that also consider crash risk. Models showing the interaction between flow and density (occupancy) and the relationship of these traffic flow parameters to crash characteristics were developed for specific sites in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. These models were then used as the basis for developing a methodology that incorporates crash risk in identifying congestion strategies that consider crash risk. The results show that it is feasible to incorporate crash risk in developing congestion mitigation strategies. To use the methodology developed in this study, it is necessary to develop the appropriate models for each site that relate flow and occupancy and crashes and occupancy.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Sankar Subramanyan, Nicholas J. Garber, Ph.D.

Last updated: December 4, 2023

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