Traffic conflict indicators measure the temporal and spatial proximity of conflict-involved road users. These indicators can reflect the severity of traffic conflicts to a reliable extent. Instead of using the indicator value directly as a severity index, many link functions have been developed to map the conflict indicator to a severity index. However, little information is available about the choice of a particular link function. To guard against link misspecification or subjectivity, a generalized exponential link function was developed. The severity index generated by this link was introduced to a parametric safety continuum model which objectively models the centre and tail regions. An empirical method, together with full Bayesian estimation method was adopted to estimate model parameters. The safety implication of return level was calculated based on the model parameters. The proposed approach was applied to the conflict and crash data collected from 21 segments from three freeways located in Guangdong province, China. The Pearson's correlation test between return levels and observed crashes showed that a θ value of 1.2 was the best choice of the generalized parameter for current data set. This provides statistical support for using the generalized exponential link function. With the determined generalized exponential link function, the visualization of parametric safety continuum was found to be a gyroscope-shaped hierarchy.

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Keywords Generalized exponential link function, PET, Safety continuum, Severity index, Traffic conflict
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Journal Accident Analysis and Prevention
Zheng, L. (Lai), & Ismail, K. (2017). A generalized exponential link function to map a conflict indicator into severity index within safety continuum framework. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 102, 23–30. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2017.02.013