The identification of crash hotspots is the first step of the highway safety management process. Errors in hotspot identification may result in the inefficient use of resources for safety improvements and may reduce the global effectiveness of the safety management process. Despite the importance of using effective hotspot identification (HSID) methods, only a few researchers have compared the performance of various methods. In this research, seven commonly applied HSID methods were compared against four robust and informative quantitative evaluation criteria. The following HSID methods were compared: crash frequency (CF), equivalent property damage only (EPDO) crash frequency, crash rate (CR), proportion method (P), empirical Bayes estimate of total-crash frequency (EB), empirical Bayes estimate of severe-crash frequency (EBs), and potential for improvement (PFI). The HSID methods were compared using the site consistency test, the method consistency test, the total rank differences test, and the total score test. These tests evaluate each HSID method’s performance in a variety of areas, such as efficiency in identifying sites that show consistently poor safety performance, reliability in identifying the same hotspots in subsequent time periods, and ranking consistency. To evaluate the HSID methods, five years of crash data from the Italian motorway A16 were used. The quantitative evaluation tests showed that the EB method performs better than the other HSID methods. Test results highlight that the EB method is the most consistent and reliable method for identifying priority investigation locations. The EB expected frequency of total-crashes (EB) performed better than the EB expected frequency of severe-crashes (EBs), although the results differed only slightly when the number of identified hotspots increased. The CF method performed better than other HSID methods with more appealing theoretical arguments. In particular, the CF method performed better than the CR method. This result is quite alarming, since many agencies use the CR method. The PFI and EPDO methods were largely inconsistent. The proportion method performed worst in all of the tests. Overall, these results are consistent with the results of previous studies. The identification of engineering countermeasures that may reduce crashes was successful in all of the hotspots identified with the EB method; this finding shows that the identified hotspots can also be corrected. The advantages associated with the EB method were based on crash data from one Italian motorway, and the relative performances of HSID methods may change when using other crash data. However, the study results are very significant and are consistent with earlier findings. To further clarify the benefits of the EB method, this study should be replicated in other countries. Nevertheless, the study results, combined with previous research results, strongly suggest that the EB method should be the standard in the identification of hotspots.

A comparative analysis of hotspot identification methods

MONTELLA, ALFONSO
2010

Abstract

The identification of crash hotspots is the first step of the highway safety management process. Errors in hotspot identification may result in the inefficient use of resources for safety improvements and may reduce the global effectiveness of the safety management process. Despite the importance of using effective hotspot identification (HSID) methods, only a few researchers have compared the performance of various methods. In this research, seven commonly applied HSID methods were compared against four robust and informative quantitative evaluation criteria. The following HSID methods were compared: crash frequency (CF), equivalent property damage only (EPDO) crash frequency, crash rate (CR), proportion method (P), empirical Bayes estimate of total-crash frequency (EB), empirical Bayes estimate of severe-crash frequency (EBs), and potential for improvement (PFI). The HSID methods were compared using the site consistency test, the method consistency test, the total rank differences test, and the total score test. These tests evaluate each HSID method’s performance in a variety of areas, such as efficiency in identifying sites that show consistently poor safety performance, reliability in identifying the same hotspots in subsequent time periods, and ranking consistency. To evaluate the HSID methods, five years of crash data from the Italian motorway A16 were used. The quantitative evaluation tests showed that the EB method performs better than the other HSID methods. Test results highlight that the EB method is the most consistent and reliable method for identifying priority investigation locations. The EB expected frequency of total-crashes (EB) performed better than the EB expected frequency of severe-crashes (EBs), although the results differed only slightly when the number of identified hotspots increased. The CF method performed better than other HSID methods with more appealing theoretical arguments. In particular, the CF method performed better than the CR method. This result is quite alarming, since many agencies use the CR method. The PFI and EPDO methods were largely inconsistent. The proportion method performed worst in all of the tests. Overall, these results are consistent with the results of previous studies. The identification of engineering countermeasures that may reduce crashes was successful in all of the hotspots identified with the EB method; this finding shows that the identified hotspots can also be corrected. The advantages associated with the EB method were based on crash data from one Italian motorway, and the relative performances of HSID methods may change when using other crash data. However, the study results are very significant and are consistent with earlier findings. To further clarify the benefits of the EB method, this study should be replicated in other countries. Nevertheless, the study results, combined with previous research results, strongly suggest that the EB method should be the standard in the identification of hotspots.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/391155
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