Surrogate Safety Assessment Model and Validation: Final Report

Safety of traffic facilities is most often measured by counting the number (and severity) of crashes that occur. It is not possible to apply such a measurement technique to traffic facility designs that have not yet been built or deployed in the real world. This project has resulted in the development of a software tool for deriving surrogate safety measures for traffic facilities from data output by traffic simulation models. This software is referred to as SSAM—an acronym for the Surrogate Safety Assessment Model. The surrogate measures developed in this project are based on the identification, classification, and evaluation of traffic conflicts that occur in the simulation model. By comparing one simulated design case with another, this software allows an analyst to make statistical judgments about the relative safety of the two designs. An open-standard vehicle trajectory data format was designed, and support for this format has been added as an output option by four simulation model vendors/developers— PTV (VISSIM), TSS (AIMSUN), Quadstone (Paramics), and Rioux Engineering (TEXAS). Eleven “theoretical” validation tests were performed to compare the surrogate safety assessment results of pairs of simulated design alternatives. In addition, a field validation exercise was completed to compare the output from SSAM with real-world crash records. Eighty-three intersections from British Columbia, Canada were modeled in VISSIM and simulated under AM-peak traffic conditions. The processed conflict results were then compared with the crash records in a number of different statistical validation tests. Last, sensitivity analysis was performed to identify differences between the SSAM-related outputs of each simulation model vendor’s system on the same traffic facility designs. These comparative analyses provide some guidance to the relative use of surrogate measures data from each simulation system. The SSAM software tool and user manual (FHWA-HRT-08-050) are available to the public at no cost from FHWA.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 324p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01104042
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-HRT-08-051
  • Contract Numbers: DTFH61-03-C-00129
  • Created Date: Jul 11 2008 12:00PM