In search of the severity dimension of traffic events: Extended Delta-V as a traffic conflict indicator
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAccident Analysis and Prevention. 2017, 98 (January), 46-56. 10.1016/j.aap.2016.09.026
Most existing traffic conflict indicators do not sufficiently take into account the severity of the injuries resulting from a collision had it occurred. Thus far, most of the indicators that have been developed express the severity of a traffic encounter as their proximity to a collision in terms of time or space. This paper presents the theoretical framework and the first implementation of Extended Delta-V as a measure of traffic conflict severity in site-based observations. It is derived from the concept of Delta-V as it is applied in crash reconstructions, which refers to the change of velocity experienced by a road user during a crash. The concept of Delta-V is recognised as an important predictor of crash outcome severity. The paper explains how the measure is operationalised within the context of traffic conflict observations. The Extended Delta-V traffic conflict measure integrates the proximity to a crash as well as the outcome severity in the event a crash would have taken place, which are both important dimensions in defining the severity of a traffic event. The results from a case study are presented in which a number of traffic conflict indicators are calculated for interactions between left turning vehicles and vehicles driving straight through a signalised intersection. The results suggest that the Extended Delta-V indicator seems to perform well at selecting the most severe traffic events. The paper discusses how the indicator overcomes a number of limitations of traditional measures of conflict severity. While this is a promising first step towards operationalising an improved measure of traffic conflict severity, additional research is needed to further develop and validate the indicator.