Collision Modification Factors (CMFs) are a simple method of representing the effectiveness of road safety treatments. With the release of the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) and the recent launching of a CMF Clearinghouse website, CMFs are likely to become more widely used for estimating the effects of potential road safety treatments. The presence of regression to the mean (RTM) bias has long been shown to affect the accuracy of CMFs that did not account for the RTM in their development.
The purpose of this research was to study how the RTM depends on the number of years of data used for selecting high collision sites for treatment and on the relative number of sites selected. From this analysis, a function based on the number of years, percentage of high collision sites selected, and the mean and standard deviation of the site population from which the treated sites are drawn was developed to more accurately estimate the magnitude of the RTM effect. This function can be used to adjust CMFs that do not account for RTM, complementing the procedure developed and used to correct CMFs included in the HSM.