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TRB 91st Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)
Highway Safety Management Improvement Through Research
Jan 23 2012 8:30AM- 10:15AM
Marriott, Salon 2
Impacts of Economic Activities on Four Crash Rates in North Dakota and Wyoming (12-1726)
Wyoming has initiated a comprehensive safety study to gain insight into the reason for its relatively high roadway fatality rates compared to the national average. Compared to other states in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region, Wyoming had some of the highest fatality rates while North Dakota was the lowest. Wyoming and North Dakota are very similar with respect to geography, weather, roadway mileage, and motor vehicle miles travelled. In the course of that study, it was found that North Dakota experienced a sharp increase in fatal crashes in 2009. It is thought that this is attributed to the increase in drilling and mining activities that have begun in the northwestern part of the state during the past two years. Because the Wyoming economy is very much dependent upon mining and drilling exploration and extraction, it is thought that the reason for the higher fatal crash number could be related. Mining introduces large numbers of migrant workers, increased travel, and more concentrated populations. This paper investigates the impacts of economic factors on crash rates in North Dakota and Wyoming North Dakota has more miles of roadway, higher populations, and more motor vehicle registrations. All signs indicate that there should be more crashes of all severities in that state and yet Wyoming still has more fatal and injury crashes. Wyoming has more vehicle miles traveled, a higher GDP overall and a higher GDP in some critical fields such as mining and construction. This paper investigates certain counties in both Wyoming and North Dakota known for either having large employment in mining or low employment. This study concluded that as employment in mining and construction increases, so do crashes. Using the results of this paper, Wyoming and North Dakota will be able to focus efforts on additional safety initiatives related to mining industries.
Andreen, Burt , University of Wyoming
Carlson, Matt , Wyoming Department of Transportation
Ksaibati, Khaled , University of Wyoming
Transportation Research Board. 500 Fifth St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
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