From existing accident-free car-following models to colliding vehicles exploration and assessment

Samer H. Hamdar, Hani S. Mahmassani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The study explores the specifications of microscopic traffic models that could capture congestion dynamics and model accident-prone behaviors on a highway section in greater realism than existing models currently used in practice (commercial software). A comparative assessment of several major acceleration models is conducted, especially for congestion formation and incident modeling. On the basis of this assessment, alternative specifications for car-following and lane-changing models are developed and implemented in a microscopic simulation framework. The models are calibrated and compared for resulting vehicle trajectories and macroscopic flow-density relationships. Experiments are conducted with the models under different degrees of relaxation of the safety constraints typically applied in conjunction with simulation codes used in practice. The ability of the proposed specifications to capture traffic behavior in extreme situations is examined. The results suggest that these specifications offer an improved basis for microscopic traffic simulation for situations that do not require an accident-free environment. As such, the same basic behavior model structure could accommodate both extreme situations (evacuation scenarios, oversaturated networks) as well as normal daily traffic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2088
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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