Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



While highway safety has steadily improved throughout the United States, highway crashes and the resulting losses continue to be a significant concern in Louisiana. Louisiana consistently lags behind the country in many key areas of highway safety. To improve the conditions of roads in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) has begun to implement the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) to evaluate existing and expected safety conditions and how to allocate limited improvement funds. However, as the HSM was developed using aggregated national statistics, it is not always able to reflect the conditions present on specific Louisiana roadways. The goal of this research was to address the limitations of applying the HSM predictive method in Louisiana, by creating and testing an HSM crash modification factor (CMF) founded on naturalistic driving behavior. The intent of this new CMF was to identify abrupt braking and evasive maneuvers in specific freeway segments because these conditions have been demonstrated to be strong predictors of high crash potential. The CMF was applied to the HSM predictive method to more accurately and reliably forecast crashes on Louisiana freeways. This research was conducted on freeway segments in Baton Rouge and showed that naturalistic driving behavior correlated with the HSM predicted crash frequency and also demonstrated that use of the crash modification factor affects the predicted crash frequency.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wolshon, Paul