Identifying locations with high rates of alcohol related traffic crashes in Ohio

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Civil Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics


Advisor: Deogratias Eustace


On average, every day in the United States 32 people die in motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. This is equivalent to one death every 45 minutes. The objectives of this study were three-fold: (1) to identify counties in the state of Ohio with relative high alcohol-related traffic crash rates; (2) to develop a visual presentation of results by using Geographic Information System (GIS on the Ohio map of counties); (3) to recommend areas or locations needing elevated and targeted alcohol-related driving reinforcement and educational efforts. Ohio traffic crash, number of population, number of registered vehicles, number of licensed drivers and average daily vehicle miles of travel data at the county level for 2007-2010 were used to analyze the alcohol-related traffic crash rates in counties. The results indicate that the most urbanized counties of Franklin, Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Summit, Montgomery, Lucas and their surrounding counties which are highly populated and also with high traffic volumes are the locations where most of the alcohol related traffic crashes occurred. The interesting results, however, were obtained from analysis of the risk of alcohol-related traffic crashes when the population and other exposure metrics were factored in order to determine the relative risk rates, which enable us to compare the counties fairly. Population density, daily vehicle miles of travel, the number of licensed drivers and the number of registered vehicles enabled us to capture counties with high risk rates. Generally, rural southern counties in the Appalachian areas and in the eastern parts of the state are the ones that appeared on the top of the list in almost all risk rate methods used in this study. In the northeastern area, the county of Ashtabula was the only county in that area which was ranked among the most risk counties in almost all the risk traffic crash rates methods used in this study. Counties that were highly ranked include Carroll, Harrison, Guernsey, Perry, Belmont, and Muskingum counties in the eastern part of the state and counties in the southern part highly ranked include Vinton, Ross, Pike, Adams, and Lawrence.


Drinking and traffic accidents Ohio Forecasting, Drinking and traffic accidents Ohio Statistics, Drunk driving Ohio Forecasting, Drunk driving Ohio Statistics, Geodatabases

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Copyright 2012, author