Identification and Analysis of the Major Factors Contributing to Fatal Crashes in Texas
Annually, more than 1.25 million people lose their lives worldwide in motor vehicle crashes. These crashes result in live losses and property damages for several people each year. The main objective of this study is to analyze the different factors influencing traffic fatalities, considering Texas State as a case study, with a time frame of six consecutive years from 2012 to 2017. The fatal crashes recorded in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database were considered as the main source of data used in this study. In addition, some other data sources have also been utilized such as the vehicle miles traveled (VMT), data regarding the licensed drivers in Texas, and the population of the different metropolitan areas in the state. Based on the conducted analysis in this study, the major parameters affecting the fatal crashes in urban areas were the DUI, manner of collisions, and the functional system. Additionally, it was turned out, based on the statistical analysis, that the functional systems with the highest significance to the fatal crashes in urban areas are the major and minor collectors, especially when combined with some specific manner of collisions such as the angled manner of a collision or hitting pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-motorists. For the rural areas, the major parameters affecting the fatal crashes were the speeding, manner of a collision, and the functional system. However, the critical functional systems were found to be the high-speed roadways, specifically the interstates, freeways, and major arterials. Also, speeding was turned out to be the most critical contributor to fatal crashes in rural areas, especially when combined with some specific manner of collisions such as head-on or front-rear crashes. Finally, the most critical parameter to fatal crashes in urban areas was DUI, whilst the most critical one to fatal crashes in rural areas was speeding.