Case-control and cross-sectional methods for estimating crash modification factors: Comparisons from roadway lighting and lane and shoulder width safety effect studies

Frank Gross, Eric T. Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Problem: While observational before-after studies are considered the industry standard for developing crash modification factors (CMFs), there are practical limitations that may preclude their use in highway safety analysis. There is a need to explore alternative methods for estimating CMFs. Method: This paper employs case-control and cross-sectional analyses to estimate CMFs for fixed roadway lighting and the allocation of lane and shoulder widths. Results: Based on the case-control method, the CMF for intersection lighting is 0.886, while the cross-sectional study indicates a CMF of 0.881. The CMFs developed for lane and shoulder widths are also similar when comparing the two methods. Conclusions: This paper suggests that case-control and cross-sectional studies produce consistent results if care is taken in the study design and model development. Impact on industry: Case-control and cross-sectional studies may provide a viable alternative to estimate CMFs when a before-after study is impractical due to data restrictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-129
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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