Traffic and environmental conditions (e.g., weather conditions), which frequently change with time, have a significant impact on crash occurrence. Traditional crash frequency models with large temporal scales and aggregated variables are not sufficient to capture the time-varying nature of driving environmental factors, causing significant loss of critical information on crash frequency modeling. This paper aims at developing crash frequency models with refined temporal scales for complex driving environments, with such an effort providing more detailed and accurate crash risk information which can allow for more effective and proactive traffic management and law enforcement intervention. Zero-inflated, negative binomial (ZINB) models with site-specific random effects are developed with unbalanced panel data to analyze hourly crash frequency on highway segments. The real-time driving environment information, including traffic, weather and road surface condition data, sourced primarily from the Road Weather Information System, is incorporated into the models along with site-specific road characteristics. The estimation results of unbalanced panel data ZINB models suggest there are a number of factors influencing crash frequency, including time-varying factors (e.g., visibility and hourly traffic volume) and site-varying factors (e.g., speed limit). The study confirms the unique significance of the real-time weather, road surface condition and traffic data to crash frequency modeling.
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