Steering or braking avoidance response in SHRP2 rear-end crashes and near-crashes: A decision tree approach. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: The paper presents a systematic analysis of drivers' crash avoidance response during crashes and near-crashes and developed a machine learning-based predictive model that can determine driver maneuver using pre-incident driver behavior and driving context. METHODS: We analyzed 286 naturalistic rear-end crashes and near-crashes from the SHRP2 naturalistic driving study. All the events were manually reduced using face video (face and forward) and kinematic responses. In this paper, we developed new reduction variables that enhanced the understanding of drivers' gaze behavior and roadway attention behavior during these events. These features reflected how the event criticality, measured using time to collision, related to drivers' pre-incident behavior (secondary behavior, gaze behavior), and drivers' perception of the event (physical reaction and maneuver). The imperative understanding of such relations was validated using a random forest- (RF) based classifier, which efficiently predicted if a driver was going to brake or change the lane as an avoidance maneuver. RESULTS: The RF presented in this paper effectively explored the nonlinear patterns in the data and was highly accurate (∼96 %) in its prediction. A further analysis of the RF model showed that six features played a pivotal role in the decision logic. These included the drivers' last glance duration before the event, last glance eccentricity, duration of 'eyes on road' immediately before the event, the time instance and criticality when the driver perceives the threat as well as acknowledge the threat, and possibility of an escape path in the adjacent lane. Using partial dependency plots, we also showed how different thresholds of these feature variables determined the drivers' maneuver intention. CONCLUSIONS: In this paper we analyzed driving context, drivers' behavior, event criticality, and drivers' response in a unified structure to predict their avoidance response. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first such effort where large-scale naturalistic data (crashes and near crashes) was analyzed for prediction of drivers' maneuver and determined key behavioral and contextual factors that contribute to this avoidance maneuver.

published proceedings

  • Accid Anal Prev

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Sarkar, A., Hickman, J. S., McDonald, A. D., Huang, W., Vogelpohl, T., & Markkula, G.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Sarkar, Abhijit||Hickman, Jeffrey S||McDonald, Anthony D||Huang, Wenyan||Vogelpohl, Tobias||Markkula, Gustav

publication date

  • May 2021