According to crash configuration and pre-crash conditions, traffic crashes are classified into different collision types. Based on the literature, multi-vehicle crashes, such as head-on, rear-end, and angle crashes, are more frequent than single-vehicle crashes, and most often result in serious consequences. From a methodological point of view, the majority of prior studies focused on multivehicle collisions have employed univariate count models to estimate crash counts separately by collision type. However, univariate models fail to account for correlations which may exist between different collision types. Among others, multivariate Poisson lognormal (MVPLN) model with spatial correlation is a promising multivariate specification because it not only allows for unobserved heterogeneity (extra-Poisson variation) and dependencies between collision types, but also spatial correlation between adjacent sites. However, the MVPLN spatial model has rarely been applied in previous research for simultaneously modelling crash counts by collision type. Therefore, this study aims at utilizing a MVPLN spatial model to estimate crash counts for four different multi-vehicle collision types, including head-on, rear-end, angle, and sideswipe collisions. To investigate the performance of the MVPLN spatial model, a two-stage model and a univariate Poisson lognormal model (UNPLN) spatial model were also developed in this study. Detailed information on roadway characteristics, traffic volume, and crash history were collected on 407 homogeneous segments from Malaysian federal roads. The results indicate that the MVPLN spatial model outperforms the other comparing models in terms of goodness-of-fit measures. The results also show that the inclusion of spatial heterogeneity in the multivariate model significantly improves the model fit, as indicated by the Deviance Information Criterion (DIC). The correlation between crash types is high and positive, implying that the occurrence of a specific collision type is highly associated with the occurrence of other crash types on the same road segment. These results support the utilization of the MVPLN spatial model when predicting crash counts by collision manner. In terms of contributing factors, the results show that distinct crash types are attributed to different subsets of explanatory variables.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.