New criteria for evaluating methods of identifying hot spots

Cheng, Wen & Washington, Simon (2008) New criteria for evaluating methods of identifying hot spots. Transportation Research Record, 2083(2008), pp. 76-85.

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Identification of hot spots, also known as the sites with promise, black spots, accident-prone locations, or priority investigation locations, is an important and routine activity for improving the overall safety of roadway networks. Extensive literature focuses on methods for hot spot identification (HSID). A subset of this considerable literature is dedicated to conducting performance assessments of various HSID methods. A central issue in comparing HSID methods is the development and selection of quantitative and qualitative performance measures or criteria. The authors contend that currently employed HSID assessment criteria—namely false positives and false negatives—are necessary but not sufficient, and additional criteria are needed to exploit the ordinal nature of site ranking data. With the intent to equip road safety professionals and researchers with more useful tools to compare the performances of various HSID methods and to improve the level of HSID assessments, this paper proposes four quantitative HSID evaluation tests that are, to the authors’ knowledge, new and unique. These tests evaluate different aspects of HSID method performance, including reliability of results, ranking consistency, and false identification consistency and reliability. It is intended that road safety professionals apply these different evaluation tests in addition to existing tests to compare the performances of various HSID methods, and then select the most appropriate HSID method to screen road networks to identify sites that require further analysis. This work demonstrates four new criteria using 3 years of Arizona road section accident data and four commonly applied HSID methods [accident frequency ranking, accident rate ranking, accident reduction potential, and empirical Bayes (EB)]. The EB HSID method reveals itself as the superior method in most of the evaluation tests. In contrast, identifying hot spots using accident rate rankings performs the least well among the tests. The accident frequency and accident reduction potential methods perform similarly, with slight differences explained. The authors believe that the four new evaluation tests offer insight into HSID performance heretofore unavailable to analysts and researchers.

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49 citations in Scopus
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40 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 38172
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.3141/2083-09
ISSN: 0361-1981
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Deposited On: 27 Oct 2010 01:52
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:18

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