Work zones are a high priority issue in the field of road transportation because of their impacts on traffic safety. A better understanding of work zone crashes can help to identify the contributing factors and countermeasures to enhance roadway safety. This study investigates the prediction of work zone crash severity and the contributing factors by employing a parametric approach using the mixed logit modeling framework and a non-parametric machine learning approach using the support vector machine (SVM). The mixed logit model belongs to the class of random parameter models in which the effects of flexible variables across different observations are identified, that is, data heterogeneity is taken into account. The performance of the SVM model is enhanced by applying three metaheuristic algorithms: particle swarm optimization (PSO), harmony search (HS), and the whale optimization algorithm (WOA). Empirical findings indicate that SVM provides higher prediction accuracy and outperforms the mixed logit model. Estimation results reveal key factors that increase the likelihood of severe work zone crashes. Furthermore, the analysis illustrates the ability of the three metaheuristics to enhance the SVM and the superiority of the harmony search algorithm in improving the performance of the SVM model.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: June 19, 2019
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Crash Causes; Injury Severity; Machine Learning; Mathematical Models; Work Zone Safety; Work Zones