Highway Fatal Accidents and Travel Densities 810324

The fatal accident rate on rural highways should theoretically increase with an increase in travel density. One empirical study of this relationship, however, reported a negative correlation. This correlation is suspect because a common component, vehicle-miles, appears in the denominator of fatal accident rate and in the numerator of travel densities. In our paper two alternative methods of correlation were used, but still no evidence for a positive relationship was found. Apparently certain density associated variables, such as quality of emergency medical service, counteract the theoretically expected trend.


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