The Joint Analysis of Injury Severity of Drivers in Two-Vehicle Crashes Accommodating Seat Belt Use Endogeneity
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The current study contributes to the existing injury severity modeling literature by developing a multivariate probit model of injury severity and seat belt use decisions of both drivers involved in two-vehicle crashes. The modeling approach enables the joint modeling of the injury severity of multiple individuals involved in a crash, while also recognizing the endogeneity of seat belt use in predicting injury severity levels as well as accommodating unobserved heterogeneity in the effects of variables. The proposed model is applied to analyze the injury severity of drivers involved in two-vehicle road crashes in Denmark. The empirical analysis provides strong support for the notion that people offset the restraint benefits of seat belt use by driving more aggressively. Also, men and those individuals driving heavy vehicles have a lower injury risk than women and those driving lighter vehicles, respectively. At the same time, men and individuals driving heavy vehicles pose more of a danger to other drivers on the roadway when involved in a crash. Other important determinants of injury severity include speed limit on roadways where crash occurs, the presence (or absence) of center dividers (median barriers), and whether the crash involves a head-on collision. These and other results are discussed, along with implications for countermeasures to reduce injury severities in crashes. The analysis also underscores the importance of considering injury severity at a crash level, while accommodating seat belt endogeneity effects and unobserved heterogeneity effects.
At the time of publication K.A. Abay was at the University of Copenhagen, R. Paleti was at Parsons Brinckerhoff, and C.R. Bhat was at the University of Texas at Austin.