Empirical Approach for Identifying Potential Rear-End Collisions Using Trajectory Data

Narayana Raju, Shriniwas Arkatkar, Said Easa, Gaurang Joshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This paper proposes a novel approach for examining rear-end collisions between successive vehicles in a traffic stream. In this approach, a new safety measure of the follower driver's attentiveness is proposed, referred to herein as instantaneous heeding time (IHT), reflecting the subject follower's heeding nature concerning its leader. A safety framework that integrates the IHT with the distance gap and the instantaneous follower's speed is presented. The applicability of the framework is demonstrated using an Indian-traffic trajectory database (developed in this study) and the homogeneous traffic database of the next generation simulation (NGSIM) project developed in the United States (U.S.). Five study sections in India and two study sections in the U.S. are analyzed for three traffic-flow levels. For Indian traffic, the results show that motorized two-wheelers (MTW) have degraded road safety due to the unrestrained lateral crisscross movements. Due to the presence of MTW, the Indian-traffic stream operates in a disorderly fashion, thereby increasing the probability of rear-end collisions with other vehicle classes. Further, the importance of implementing cautioning measures for drivers that reduce the probability of collisions is demonstrated. Besides, the NGSIM application results confirmed the proposed framework's applicability to both Indian and homogeneous traffic conditions. In practice, the proposed framework can be used in real-time to monitor the driver's aggressive instincts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Transportation Safety and Security
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Trajectory data
  • Safety thresholds
  • Heeding time
  • Hysteresis
  • Rear-end collisions


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