Traffic safety evaluation is one of the most important processes in analyzing transportation systems performance. Traditional methods like statistical models and before-after comparisons have many drawbacks, such as limited time periods, sample size problems, and reporting errors. The advancement of traffic conflict techniques combined with microsimulation offers a potentially innovative way for conducting safety assessment of traffic systems even before safety improvements are implemented. In this paper, simulation-based safety studies are reviewed, and a modified simulation-based surrogate safety measure and a new simulation-based surrogate safety measure that can capture the probability of collisions, as well as the severity of these potential collisions, are proposed. Conceptual and computational logic of the proposed surrogate safety indicators are described in detail. These surrogate safety indices are initially proposed for link-based analysis and should not be used for other purposes, such as intersection safety assessment, without further enhancements, and the use of these indices should be limited to the analysis of linear conflicts. In addition, these link-based indices are extended to be able to conduct aggregate networkwide safety assessments. The proposed indices are validated by means of a well-calibrated traffic simulation model of a section of the New Jersey Turnpike and real accident data from the same section. Preliminary results indicate a strong relationship between the proposed surrogate safety measures and real accident data. Further research is needed to investigate these new surrogate safety indices under different locations and traffic conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering