Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Hongyun Chen, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Christopher Grant, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Darris L. White, Ph.D.


As the nation’s transportation infrastructure expands, traffic incidents led to more than 25% of traffic congestion in the United States (FHWA, 2014). The risk of the occurrence of secondary crashes can be six times higher in the presence of a primary crash than that at a normal traffic condition (Yang et al., 2013 and Tedesco, 1994). The purpose of this study is 1) to develop a method to identify the secondary crashes with the primary incidents in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) under different spatial-temporal criteria, and 2) to determine the impacts of spatial-temporal criteria on the secondary crash characteristics in terms of crash injury severity, crash types and contributing factors.

ArcGIS is a powerful software package providing users with ease of processing large databases while linking crash data with geometric information. A logic-processing diagram that feasibly links the secondary crashes with the primary incidents under different temporal and spatial criteria was developed in this study. T-tests were used to determine whether the spatial-temporal criteria significantly affected the secondary crashes with different crash characteristics. The results are expected to help traffic agencies to select effective countermeasures to reduce secondary crashes and injury severity levels.