Safety Analysis of Transportation Modes Using Data Analytics
Transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries are societal problems that requires active risk mitigation. With the latest information technology and data analytics, opportunities arise to make evidence-based safety improvements. Among passenger transportation modes, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries have been growing at a disturbing rate, whereas rail freight transport of hazardous materials (hazmat) poses an additional safety concern. Thus, the research contained in this dissertation focuses on identifying methods and approaches for improving the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and railways. For pedestrian and bicycle safety, classification models are developed for determining factors influencing severe crash outcomes, comparing their predictive results on a highly imbalanced dataset using three data balancing methods. The same six factors (speed limit, average annual daily traffic, number of lanes, roadways, inadequate lighting conditions, and weekend use) are identified for pedestrians and bicyclists, albeit in a different order of importance. By leveraging emerging technologies to estimate travel demand on these modes, we demonstrate the importance of both severe crash frequency and severe crash rate by estimating corresponding pedestrian and bicycle exposure at locations of interest. The vast majority of the highest-ranking at-risk streets in the case sample were the same for pedestrian and bicyclist use, respectively, implying potential economies to scale for investment in safety improvements at these locations. For rail safety, a conceptual design is developed for rail hazmat shippers using the integration of several technologies to achieve enhanced hazmat transport safety and security. The research includes schematics showing individual system components (hardware and software) and their interoperability, as well as a narrative that describes how each component is utilized and how information is transmitted to the rail hazmat shipper and subsequently merged into an integrated database. Guidance is also provided to set thresholds, trigger alerts or notifications, and communicate these alerts or notifications to appropriate hazmat transportation stakeholders.