• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 13, No 1 (2022)

Predicting the Segment-Based Effects of Heterogeneous Traffic and Road Geometric Features on Fatal Accidents

Predicting the Segment-Based Effects of Heterogeneous Traffic and Road Geometric Features on Fatal Accidents

Title: Predicting the Segment-Based Effects of Heterogeneous Traffic and Road Geometric Features on Fatal Accidents
Martha Leni Siregar, Tri Tjahjono, Nahry Yusuf

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Cite this article as:
Siregar, M.L., Tjahjono, Yusuf, N., 2022. Predicting the Segment-Based Effects of Heterogeneous Traffic and Road Geometric Features on Fatal Accidents. International Journal of Technology. Volume 13(1), pp. 92-102

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Martha Leni Siregar Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Tri Tjahjono Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Nahry Yusuf Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
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Abstract
Predicting the Segment-Based Effects of Heterogeneous Traffic and Road Geometric Features on Fatal Accidents

Inter-urban roads in Indonesia are characterized mainly by distinct road geometry and heterogeneous traffic features. The accident database from the Republic of Indonesia National Traffic Police recorded a substantial number of fatal accidents and fatalities along inter-urban roads. This study aimed to analyze the effects of traffic heterogeneity and road geometry features on fatal accidents along inter-urban roads in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Segment-based accident analysis was adopted to minimize bias due to the large standard deviations of road lengths. Vehicle-specific speeds, speed standard deviations, and volumes of six vehicle categories, road surface condition, and road geometry were the classified predicting factors. A machine learning technique was adopted to produce predictions of the classification problem. A total of 1,068 road segment observations from 2013–2016 were used to build and validate the model. Model generalization was carried out using the out-of-sample 2019 data. With 26 potential predictors, three machine learning techniques based on the ensembles of regression trees were used to avoid removing potential predictors altogether. The results indicate that road-related features show the greatest importance in predicting the number of fatal accidents. Among the speed features, the average speed of angkots and speed standard deviation of motorcycles showed the greatest importance. The average daily traffic (ADT) of pickups had the greatest importance among other vehicle-specific ADTs.

Fatal accidents; Heterogeneous traffic; Machine learning; Segment-based effects; Speed standard deviation

Introduction

Traffic accidents on inter-urban roads in Indonesia are still considered a serious problem, with high rates of fatalities. As an illustration, the fatality rates on Bantaeng–Bulukumba, Jeneponto–Bantaeng, and Bulukumba–Tondong in South Sulawesi were 23.6, 6.5, and 5.1 deaths per 100 million vehicle-km in 2015 (Australia–Indonesia Partnership, 2017) and were 7.03, 3.35, and 8.19 deaths per 100 million vehicle-km in 2019, based on the present study.

Various factors related to traffic safety have been studied using different approaches. Studies on speed variations have revealed that both the standard deviation (SD) of speed and the coefficient of speed variation (CSV) were significantly related to traffic collisions (Choudhary et al., 2018; Wang et al., 2018). The effects of road geometry on traffic safety were studied by Chen et al. (2019) and Papadimitriou et al. (2019), and the effects on pedestrian safety were studied by Siregar et al. (2019). In these studies, the traffic factors were considered homogeneous, and vehicle-specific traffic speeds and volumes were not considered. The heterogeneity of traffic in speeds and volumes was adopted in the study on fatality rates and accident rates (Siregar et al., 2020) on inter-urban roads. Similarly, various approaches have been applied to analyze traffic safety indices. Some of the most widely used regression analyses include the Poisson regression (Mitra et al., 2017) and negative binomial regression (Poisson-gamma; Tjahjono, 2010; Gitelman et al., 2017). An artificial neural network was also used in a study by Alkheder et al. (2017).    

    Because the distribution of accidents is substantially zero inflated and most road segments under study (86% in 2013–2016 data) did not have fatal accidents, the distribution is instrumental in predicting fatal accidents on a segment base that can be applied to fatal accident preventive measures. Therefore, the present study aimed to analyze the segment-based effects of traffic and road factors on predicting the number of fatal accidents on inter-urban roads by considering the heterogeneity of traffic. These factors, referred to as “features” in machine learning, include the average daily traffic, average speeds, and speed standard deviations of the different categories of vehicles, road geometry, road surface condition, and road section length. Machine learning was adopted for the analysis, given that the technique can overcome the nonlinear relationship problem between fatal accidents and predictive features. Combinations of the different features that are hypothesized to determine the number of accidents were explored. The findings can be expected to contribute to the development of traffic safety improvement programs. 

Conclusion

    The results indicate that there are different factors determining the number of fatal accidents. ADT, speeds, and speed SDs are vehicle-specific variables with different levels of importance. The findings of the present study should also be intuitively interpreted, considering that there might be some underreporting of fatal accidents due to failure to change the status from severe to fatal. Because the high contributions of some vehicle variables in an accident do not necessarily indicate the involvement of the vehicles in the accidents, further analysis is required to give a more integrated and comprehensive view of the relationships between different categories of vehicles and accidents. Having the greatest importance in percentage among the speed features, the average speed of angkots and the ADT of passenger cars and motorcycles necessitate special treatment to reduce the effects on fatal accidents. The results of this study can help traffic safety agencies target specific features for improvement measures.

Acknowledgement

    This research was funded by TADOK Grant Universitas Indonesia 2019 No. NKB-0167/UN2.R3.1/HKP.05.00/2019. The authors would also like to thank the Project Management Unit of the Australian-funded EINRIP Monitoring & Evaluation Programme, Fifth Monitoring Survey, Final Report 2017 for permission to use the data.

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