Investigating the Factors That Influence Injury Severity During Large Truck Crashes

Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

Committee Director

Asad J. Khattak

Committee Member

Guzin Akan

Committee Member

Robert B. Case

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E542 H63 2009


Large trucks and passenger cars share the transportation infrastructure. The diversity of mass, size and maneuverability of vehicles on roads makes truck involved collisions very dangerous and causes injury and fatality of drivers and passengers. Considering that large trucks are usually traveling for a long distance and cross country, Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) collected data to analyze and predict injury or fatality from a set of predictor (independent) variables. Data were collected at 24 sites in 17 States and 2,284 vehicles were involved in crashes and have up to 1,000 variables for each crash. Sixty-nine percent of these crashes caused injuries and/or fatalities. Ordered probit regression was used to predict injury severity for four types of crashes: truckpassenger car, truck-truck, single-truck, and multi vehicle crash. Independent variables that are associated with road geometry ( curve, grade), type of accident, driver behavior factors, and presence of ITS equipment in trucks were investigated in terms of the most substantial association with crashes that caused injury and fatality. The results show that variables such as hurrying of the drivers, illegal drugs and alcohol, road side departure and head on types of accidents, junction and curve of the road were associated with a higher probability of receiving a severe injury on the KABCO scale. However, for each type of crash, these variables have different associations with injury severity. ITS equipment in trucks is associated with a decrease of the probability of being killed or receiving incapacitating injuries during single vehicle and truck-passenger car types of accidents. Familiarity with the road is associated with a lower probability of severe injury. The implications of the results are discussed.


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