A key issue in the analysis of traffic accidents is to quantify the effectiveness of a given evasive action taken by a driver to avoid crashing. Since 1977, the widely accepted definition for this effectiveness measure, which is called traffic conflict, has been “the risk of a collision if the driver movement remains unchanged.” Although the definition is expressed counterfactually, the full power of counterfactual analysis was not utilized. In this paper, we propose a counterfactual measure of traffic conflict called Counterfactual Based Conflict. The CBC is interpreted as the probability that a driver avoided a crash actually by taking an evasive action in the counterfactual situation in which the crash would have occurred if he/she had not taken an evasive action and the crash would not have occurred if he/she had taken an evasive action. The CBC captures realistic aspects of the traffic situation, and lends itself to modern causal analysis. In addition, we provide some of identification conditions for the CBC. Furthermore, we formulate bounds on the CBC when the proposed identification conditions are violated. Finally, through an application of the CBC to the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, we discuss the usefulness and limitations of the proposed measure.
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DOI 10.1515/jci-2018-0001
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