Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Engineering and Applied Science - Civil & Environmental


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Elnaz Safapour

Second Advisor

Norma Mattie

Third Advisor

Paul Schilling


This study has two main objectives. First, the impact of various factors on highway fatality rates in the United States (US), Southern States, Gulf Mexico States, and Louisiana are examined. Second, two models are developed to predict fatality rates in the stated regions: highway fatality rate per 1000 drivers and highway fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Data from 2004-2021 obtained from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics are analyzed using Stepwise Multiple Regression method. The results of this study reveal that road conditions and driving alone are the primary predictors strongly associated with fatality rates. The impact of other factors, such as commute modes, highway expenditure, and transportation employees, is also observed to varying degrees. The predictive models are validated using the Shapiro-Wilk test and normal distribution plots to ensure accuracy. This study's findings will aid decision-makers in allocating resources and improving highway safety in the US.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Available for download on Friday, August 04, 2028