AN INVESTIGATION OF COLLISIONS AND INJURY SEVERITY LEVELS IN NOVA SCOTIA
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The social and economic burden imposed on society by road collisions is a major issue in Nova Scotia and across jurisdictions. In Nova Scotia, road safety related injuries are the greatest contributor to the economic and social costs associated with injury, costing an estimated $74 million per year. This thesis study undertakes a comprehensive analysis of over 74,000 collisions in Nova Scotia involving about 208,700 individuals from 2007 to 2011 to characterize collision patterns, including collision frequencies, injury severity outcomes, personal attributes of persons involved, temporal characteristics, and spatial distribution of collisions. Injury severity of two particularly vulnerable road user groups, pedestrians and cyclists, is investigated using alternative ordered response models with an emphasis on understanding the influence of the built environment and land use characteristics on collision outcomes. The investigation reveals that collisions have several patterns of incidence including the age and gender of the road user, the types of injury severity experienced, the month, day, and day of week that collisions occur, and where the collisions occur. The model results suggest that injury severity levels of pedestrians and cyclists are influenced by several road user characteristics, collision characteristics, environmental conditions, and characteristics of the built environment and surrounding land uses. The research offers new insights into the interplay of built environment characteristics on collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists. The thesis contributes to recent advances in the literature that identify the need to incorporate built environment and land use variability in collision and injury severity modeling.