Microscopic simulation as an evaluation tool for the road safety of vulnerable road users

by Eva Axelsson

Institution: Linköping University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Microscopic simulation; Pedestrian simulation; Viswalk; Traffic safety; Traffic Conflict Technique; Time-to-Accident; Conflict; Conflict observation; Engineering and Technology; Civil Engineering; Transport Systems and Logistics; Teknik och teknologier; Samhällsbyggnadsteknik; Transportteknik och logistik; Technology; teknik; Transportsystem; Transportation Systems Engineering
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2131144
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130010


Traffic safety has traditionally been measured by analyzing historical accident data, which is a reactive method where a certain number of accidents must occur in order to identify the safety problem. An alternative safety assessment method is to use proximal safety indicators that are defined as measures of accident proximity, which is considered a proactive method. With this method it is possible to detect the safety problem before the accidents have happened. To be able to detect problems in traffic situations in general, microscopic simulation is commonly used. In these models it may be possible to generate representative near-accidents, measured by proximal safety indicator techniques. A benefit of this would be the possibility to experiment with different road designs and evaluate the traffic safety level before reconstructions of the road infrastructure. Therefore has an investigation been performed to test the possibility to identify near-accidents (conflicts) in a microscopic simulation model mimicking the Traffic Conflict Technique developed by Hydén (1987). In order to perform the investigation a case study has been used where an intersection in the city center of Stockholm was studied. The intersection has been rebuilt, which made it possible to perform a before and after study. For the previous design there was a traffic safety assessment available which was carried out using the Traffic Conflict Technique. Microscopic simulation models representing the different designs of the intersection were built in PTV Vissim. In order to evaluate and measure the traffic safety in reality as well as in the microscopic simulation models, a traffic safety assessment was performed in each case. The traffic safety assessment in field for the present design was carried out as a part of this thesis. The main focus of this thesis was the road safety for vulnerable road users. The method to identify conflicts in the simulation model has been to extract raw data output from the simulation model and thereafter process this data in a Matlab program, aiming to mimic the Traffic Conflict Technique. The same program and procedure was used for both the previous and the present design of the intersection. The results from the traffic safety assessment in the simulation model have been compared to the results from the field study in order to evaluate how well microscopic simulation works as an evaluation tool for traffic safety in new designs. The comparison shows that the two methods of conflict identification cannot replace each other straight off. But with awareness of the differences between the methods, the simulation model could be used as an indication when evaluating the level of traffic safety in a road design.