Application of Microscopic Simulation to Evaluate the Safety Performance of Freeway Weaving Sections



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This study adopted the traffic conflict technique, investigated and applied it for evaluation of freeway weaving section safety performance. Conflicts between vehicles were identified based on the state of interactions between vehicles in the traffic stream at microscopic level. The VISSIM microscopic simulation model was employed to simulate traffic operation. Surrogate safety measures were formulated based on deceleration rate required to avoid crash and these simulation-based measures were statistically compared and validated using crash data collected from the same study site. Three study sites located in Houston and Dallas areas were selected. Geometric and traffic data were collected using various technique including the use of traffic surveillance cameras and pneumatic tubes. The study revealed the existence of links between actually observed crashes and the surrogate safety measures. The study findings support the possible the use of microscopic simulation to evaluate safety performance of weaving areas and other transportation facilities.