Will higher traffic flow lead to more traffic conflicts? A crash surrogate metric based analysis

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLoS ONE, 2017, 12 (8)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2017 Kuang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. In this paper, we aim to examine the relationship between traffic flow and potential conflict risks by using crash surrogate metrics. It has been widely recognized that one traffic flow corresponds to two distinct traffic states with different speeds and densities. In view of this, instead of simply aggregating traffic conditions with the same traffic volume, we represent potential conflict risks at a traffic flow fundamental diagram. Two crash surrogate metrics, namely, Aggregated Crash Index and Time to Collision, are used in this study to represent the potential conflict risks with respect to different traffic conditions. Furthermore, Beijing North Ring III and Next Generation SIMulation Interstate 80 datasets are utilized to carry out case studies. By using the proposed procedure, both datasets generate similar trends, which demonstrate the applicability of the proposed methodology and the transferability of our conclusions.
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