An Empirical Bayes before-after evaluation of road safety effects of a new motorway in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAccident Analysis and Prevention. 2017, 108 (November), 285-296. 10.1016/j.aap.2017.09.014
This paper presents an Empirical Bayes before-after evaluation of the road safety effects of a new motorway (freeway) in Østfold county, Norway. The before-period was 1996–2002. The after-period was 2009–2015. The road was rebuilt from an undivided two-lane road into a divided four-lane road. The number of killed or seriously injured road users was reduced by 75 percent, controlling for (downward) long-term trends and regression-to-the-mean (statistically significant at the 5 percent level; recorded numbers 71 before, 11 after). There were small changes in the number of injury accidents (185 before, 123 after; net effect −3%) and the number of slightly injured road users (403 before 279 after; net effect +5%). Motorways appear to mainly reduce injury severity, not the number of accidents. The paper discusses challenges in implementing the Empirical Bayes design when less than ideal data are available.