A novel traffic conflict risk measure considering the effect of vehicle weight

Ying Wang, Huizhao Tu, N. N. Sze, Hao Li, Xin Ruan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Vehicle weight is deterministic to the impact force in collision, and thus the injury risk of vehicle occupants. In China, involvement of heavy vehicles in overall and fatal crashes are prevalent, even though heavy vehicles only constitute a small proportion of overall registered motor vehicles. However, vehicle weight is rarely considered in the existing traffic conflict risk prediction and assessment models because of the unavailability of required data. Method: Novel risk indicators for the diagnosis of traffic conflict risk map, considering the effect of vehicle weight, are proposed, with the advantage of comprehensive traffic flow characteristics and vehicle weight data using Weigh-in-Motion (WIM) technique. Weight-incorporated risk level (WRL) and weight integrated risk level (WIRL) are established to quantify the traffic conflict risk, at an instant and over a specified time period, respectively, by extending the conventional traffic conflict risk measures including time-to-collision (TTC) and modified potential collision energy (PCE). Then, a microscopic traffic simulation model is adopted to estimate the traffic conflict risk map along a highway segment that has partial lane closure. The traffic conflict risk performances, between the risk indicators with and without considering the vehicle weight, are compared. Results: The traffic conflict risks estimated using conventional risk indicators without considering the vehicle weight are generally lower than that based on WRL and WIRL. The difference is more profound when the proportion of heavy vehicles in the traffic stream increases. Conclusions: The finding is indicative to remedial engineering measures including variable message sign, speed limit, and ramp metering that can mitigate the real-time crash risks on highways, especially in adverse environmental and weather conditions, with due consideration of vehicle composition and crash worthiness of vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Potential collision energy (PCE)
  • Risk indicator
  • Risk map
  • Time-to-collision (TTC)
  • Weigh-in-motion (WIM) technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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