Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Nikiforos Stamatiadis


The goal of this research was to examine the potential predictive ability of socioeconomic and demographic data for drivers on Kentucky crash occurrence. Identifying unique background characteristics of at-fault drivers that contribute to crash rates and crash severity may lead to improved and more specific interventions to reduce the negative impacts of motor vehicle crashes. The driver-residence zip code was used as a spatial unit to connect five years of Kentucky crash data with socioeconomic factors from the U.S. Census, such as income, employment, education, age, and others, along with terrain and vehicle age. At-fault driver crash counts, normalized over the driving population, were used as the dependent variable in a multivariate linear regression to model socioeconomic variables and their relationship with motor vehicle crashes. The final model consisted of nine socioeconomic and demographic variables and resulted in a R-square of 0.279, which indicates linear correlation but a lack of strong predicting power. The model resulted in both positive and negative correlations of socioeconomic variables with crash rates. Positive associations were found with the terrain index (a composite measure of road curviness), travel time, high school graduation and vehicle age. Negative associations were found with younger drivers, unemployment, college education, and terrain difference, which considers the terrain index at the driver residence and crash location. Further research seems to be warranted to fully understand the role that socioeconomic and demographic characteristics play in driving behavior and crash risk.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)