Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Jian John Lu, Ph.D.

Keywords

Logit model, Ordered logit regression, Parallel assumption, Simulation, Support vector regression

Abstract

Work zone tends to cause hazardous conditions for drivers and construction workers since work zones generate conflicts between construction activities and the traffic, therefore aggravate the existing traffic conditions and result in severe traffic safety and operational problems. To address the influence of various factors on the crash severity is beneficial to understand the characteristics of work zone crashes. The understanding can be used to select proper countermeasures for reducing the crash severity at work zones and improving work zone safety. In this dissertation, crash severity models were developed to explore the factor impacts on crash severity for two work zone crash datasets (overall crashes and rear-end crashes). Partial proportional odds logistic regression, which has less restriction to the parallel regression assumption and provides more reasonable interpretations of the coefficients, was used to estimate the models. The factor impacts were summarized to indicate which factors are more likely to increase work zone crash severity or which factors tends to reduce the severity. Because the speed variety is an important factor causing accidents at work zone area, the work zone speed profile was analyzed and modeled to predict the distribution of speed along the distance to the starting point of lane closures. A new learning machine algorithm, support vector regression (SVR), was utilized to develop the speed profile model for freeway work zone sections under various scenarios since its excellent generalization ability. A simulation-based experiment was designed for producing the speed data (output data) and scenario data (input data). Based on these data, the speed profile model was trained and validated. The speed profile model can be used as a reference for designing appropriate traffic control countermeasures to improve the work zone safety.

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