Motorway crash duration and its determinants: do durations vary across motorways?

H. Tajtehranifard, A. Bhaskar, M.M. Haque, Edward Chin Shin Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Traffic congestion has been a growing issue in many metropolitan areas during recent years, which necessitates the identification of its key contributors and development of sustainable strategies to help decrease its adverse impacts on traffic networks. Road incidents generally and crashes specifically have been acknowledged as the cause of a large proportion of travel delays in urban areas and account for 25% to 60% of traffic congestion on motorways. Identifying the critical determinants of travel delays has been of significant importance to the incident management systems, which constantly collect and store the incident duration data. This study investigates the individual and simultaneous differential effects of the relevant determinants on motorway crash duration probabilities. In particular, it applies parametric Accelerated Failure Time (AFT) hazard-based models to develop in-depth insights into how the crash-specific characteristic and the associated temporal and infrastructural determinants impact the duration. AFT models with both fixed and random parameters have been calibrated on one year of traffic crash records from two major Australian motorways in South East Queensland, and the differential effects of determinants on crash survival functions have been studied on these two motorways individually. A comprehensive spectrum of commonly used parametric fixed parameter AFT models, including generalized gamma and generalized F families, has been compared with random parameter AFT structures in terms of goodness of fit to the duration data, and as a result, the random parameter Weibull AFT model has been selected as the most appropriate model. Significant determinants of motorway crash duration included traffic diversion requirement, crash injury type, number and type of vehicles involved in a crash, day of week and time of day, towing support requirement and damage to the infrastructure. A major finding of this research is that the motorways under study are significantly different in terms of crash durations; such that motorway 1 exhibits durations that are on average 19% shorter compared with the durations on motorway 2. The differential effects of explanatory variables on crash durations are also different on the two motorways. The detailed presented analysis confirms that looking at the motorway network as a whole, neglecting the individual differences between roads, can lead to erroneous interpretations of duration and inefficient strategies for mitigating travel delays along a particular motorway.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-735
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Advanced Transportation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • AFT models for crash duration
  • crash duration modelling
  • hazard-based models
  • incident traffic management
  • survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management


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