An Explanatory Analysis of Driver Injury Severity in Rear-End Crashes Using a Decision Table/Naïve Bayes (Dtnb) Hybrid Classifier

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decision rules, decision table/naïve bayes (DTNB) classifier, driver injury severity, rear-end crash, ROC curve, traffic safety

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Rear-end crashes are a major type of traffic crashes in the U.S. Of practical necessity is a comprehensive examination of its mechanism that results in injuries and fatalities. Decision table (DT) and Naïve Bayes (NB) methods have both been used widely but separately for solving classification problems in multiple areas except for traffic safety research. Based on a two-year rear-end crash dataset, this paper applies a decision table/Naïve Bayes (DTNB) hybrid classifier to select the deterministic attributes and predict driver injury outcomes in rear-end crashes. The test results show that the hybrid classifier performs reasonably well, which was indicated by several performance evaluation measurements, such as accuracy, F-measure, ROC, and AUC. Fifteen significant attributes were found to be significant in predicting driver injury severities, including weather, lighting conditions, road geometry characteristics, driver behavior information, etc. The extracted decision rules demonstrate that heavy vehicle involvement, a comfortable traffic environment, inferior lighting conditions, two-lane rural roadways, vehicle disabled damage, and two-vehicle crashes would increase the likelihood of drivers sustaining fatal injuries. The research limitations on data size, data structure, and result presentation are also summarized. The applied methodology and estimation results provide insights for developing effective countermeasures to alleviate rear-end crash injury severities and improve traffic system safety performance.

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Accident Analysis and Prevention, v. 90, p. 95-107