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Title: Functional failure sequences in traffic accidents
Author: Atalar, Deniz
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 7942
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines the interactions between road users and the factors that contribute to the occurrence of traffic accidents, and discusses the implications of these interactions with regards to driver behaviour and accident prevention measures. Traffic accident data is collected on a macroscopic level by local police authorities throughout the UK. This data provides a description of accident related factors on a macroscopic level which does not allow for a complete understanding of the interaction between the various road users or the influence of errors made by active road users. Traffic accident data collected on a microscopic level analysis of real world accident data, explaining why and how an accident occurred, can further contribute to a data driven approach to provide safety measures. This data allows for a better understanding of the interaction of factors for all road users within an accident that is not possible with other data collection methods. In the first part of the thesis, a literature review presents relevant research in traffic accident analysis and accident causation research, afterwards three accident causation models used to understand behaviour and factors leading to traffic accidents are introduced. A comparison study of these accident causation coding models that classify road user error was carried out to determine a model that would be best suited to code the accident data according to the thesis aims. Latent class cluster analyses were made of two separate datasets, the UK On the Spot (OTS) in-depth accident investigation study and the STATS19 national accident database. A comparison between microscopic (in-depth) accident data and macroscopic (national) accident data was carried out. This analysis allowed for the interactions between all relevant factors for the road users involved in the accident to be grouped into specific accident segmentations based on the cluster analysis results. First, all of the cases that were collected by the OTS team between the years 2000 to 2003 were analysed. Results suggested that for single vehicle accidents males and females typically made failures related to detection and execution issues, whereas male road users made diagnosis failures with speed as a particularly important factor. In terms of the multiple vehicle accidents the interactions between the first two road users and the subsequent accident sequence were demonstrated. A cluster analysis of all two vehicle accidents in Great Britain in the year 2005 and recorded within the STATS19 accident database was carried out as a comparison to the multiple vehicle accident OTS data. This analysis demonstrated the necessity of in-depth accident causation data in interpreting accident scenarios, as the resulting accident clusters did not provide significant differences between the groups to usefully segment the crash population. Relevant human factors were not coded for these cases and the level of detail in the accident cases did not allow for a discussion of countermeasure implications. An analysis of 428 Powered Two Wheeler accidents that were collected by the OTS team between the years 2000 to 2010 was carried out. Results identified 7 specific scenarios, the main types of which identified two particular looked but did not see accidents and two types of single vehicle PTW accidents. In cases where the PTW lost control, diagnosis failures were more common, for road users other than the PTW rider, detection issues were of particular relevance. In these cases the interaction between all relevant road users was interpreted in relation to one another. The subsequent study analysed 248 Pedestrian accidents that were collected by the OTS team between the years 2000 to 2010. Results identified scenarios related to pedestrians as being in a hurry and making detection errors, impairment due to alcohol, and young children playing in the roadside. For accidents that were initiated by the other road user s behaviour pedestrians were either struck after an accident had already occurred or due to the manoeuvre that a road user was making, older pedestrians were over-represented in this accident type. This thesis concludes by discussing how (1) microscopic in-depth accident data is needed to understand accident mechanisms, (2) a data mining approach using latent class clustering can benefit the understanding of failure mechanisms, (3) accident causation analysis is necessary to understand the types of failures that road users make and (4) accident scenario development helps quantify accidents and allows for accident countermeasure implication discussion. The original contribution to knowledge is the demonstration that when relevant data is available there is a possibility to understand the interactions that are occurring between road users before the crash, that is not possible otherwise. This contribution has been demonstrated by highlighting how latent class cluster analysis combined with accident causation data allows for relevant interactions between road users to be observed. Finally implications for this work and future considerations are outlined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Accident causation ; Driver perception ; Multivariate analysis methods ; Latent class clustering