Exploring differences in injury severity between occupant groups involved in fatal rear-end crashes: A correlated random parameter logit model with mean heterogeneity

by   Renteng Yuan, et al.

Rear-end crashes are one of the most common crash types. Passenger cars involved in rear-end crashes frequently produce severe outcomes. However, no study investigated the differences in the injury severity of occupant groups when cars are involved as following and leading vehicles in rear-end crashes. Therefore, the focus of this investigation is to compare the key factors affecting the injury severity between the front- and rear-car occupant groups in rear-end crashes. First, data is extracted from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) for two types of rear-end crashes from 2017 to 2019, including passenger cars as rear-end and rear-ended vehicles. Significant injury severity difference between front- and rear-car occupant groups is found by conducting likelihood ratio test. Moreover, the front- and rear-car occupant groups are modelled by the correlated random parameter logit model with heterogeneity in means (CRPLHM) and the random parameter logit model with heterogeneity in means (RPLHM), respectively. From the modeling, the significant factors are occupant positions, driver age, overturn, vehicle type, etc. For instance, the driving and front-right positions significantly increase the probability of severe injury when struck by another vehicle. Large truck-strike-car tends to cause severe outcomes compared to car-strike-large truck. This study provides an insightful knowledge of mechanism of occupant injury severity in rear-end crashes, and propose some effective countermeasures to mitigate the crash severity, such as implementing stricter seat belt laws, improving the coverage of the streetlights, strengthening car driver's emergency response ability.


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