Copyright © 2012 Xuedong Yan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
In this study, the traffic crash rate, total crash frequency, and injury and fatal crash frequency were taken into consideration for distinguishing between rural and urban road segment safety. The GIS-based crash data during four and half years in Pikes Peak Area, US were applied for the analyses. The comparative statistical results show that the crash rates in rural segments are consistently lower than urban segments. Further, the regression results based on Zero-Inflated Negative Binomial (ZINB) regression models indicate that the urban areas have a higher crash risk in terms of both total crash frequency and injury and fatal crash frequency, compared to rural areas. Additionally, it is found that crash frequencies increase as traffic volume and segment length increase, though the higher traffic volume lower the likelihood of severe crash occurrence; compared to 2-lane roads, the 4-lane roads have lower crash frequencies but have a higher probability of severe crash occurrence; and better road facilities with higher free flow speed can benefit from high standard design feature thus resulting in a lower total crash frequency, but they cannot mitigate the severe crash risk.