Evaluating Accident Rates on Virginia's Secondary Road System

Report No: 72-R39

Published in 1973

About the report:

In order to establish priorities for allocating highway funds available for safety improvements, an investigation was made of a method for ranking the state's counties according to their accident histories. Million vehicle miles traveled, registered vehicles, and registered vehicles times road miles were used to normalize the counties' accident statistics. The normalized statistics were then used to prepare profiles on each county using the yearly accident figures from 1967 through 1971. Based on a study of the Virginia county profiles the following conclusions were reached: (1) Since both the secondary road million vehicle miles traveled figures and the registered vehicles per county figures are subject to tabulation errors, neither normalization method appears to be significantly better than the other. (2) While the profiles can be used to compare counties, they are more useful for determining trends within each county over the 5-year period studied. (3) The million vehicle miles traveled method appears to be better than the registered vehicle times road miles method.

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.


  • William C. LaBaugh

Last updated: February 8, 2024

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