DOI

10.17077/drivingassessment.1699

Location

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Date

26-6-2019

Session

Session 5 – Methods and Data Analysis

Abstract

The theoretical foundation of the Naturalistic Driving (ND) MixedSafety-Critical Event (SCE) methodology is found in the historical writings of H.W. Heinrich, a 20th century industrial safety engineer. Heinrich espoused the theory that serious accidents, minor ones, and even no-injury operator errors all had identical or highly similar causal mechanisms and that accident consequences were essentially unlinked to causes. This became the basis for today’s ND MixedSCE method, whereby a variety of mostly non-crash avoidance maneuvers (e.g., hard braking, swerves) and other kinematic events (e.g., lane drifts) are aggregated by researchers to form a dependent variable dataset ostensibly representative of important and harmful crashes. This paper examines this approach and finds it to be invalidated by the pervasive causal heterogeneity of crashes and would-be surrogates. Crashes are heterogeneous horizontally by type and vertically by severity. This paper argues instead for the heterogeneity principle as the foundational assumption and guiding tenet for any effort to extrapolate causal evidence from surrogates (e.g., non-crashes or minor crashes) to a different and more important target crash population such as serious crashes.

Rights

Copyright © 2019 the author(s)

DC Citation

Proceedings of the Tenth International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design, 24-27 June 2019, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Iowa City, IA: Public Policy Center, of Iowa, 2019: 224-230.

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Jun 26th, 12:00 AM

The Heterogeneity Principle

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

The theoretical foundation of the Naturalistic Driving (ND) MixedSafety-Critical Event (SCE) methodology is found in the historical writings of H.W. Heinrich, a 20th century industrial safety engineer. Heinrich espoused the theory that serious accidents, minor ones, and even no-injury operator errors all had identical or highly similar causal mechanisms and that accident consequences were essentially unlinked to causes. This became the basis for today’s ND MixedSCE method, whereby a variety of mostly non-crash avoidance maneuvers (e.g., hard braking, swerves) and other kinematic events (e.g., lane drifts) are aggregated by researchers to form a dependent variable dataset ostensibly representative of important and harmful crashes. This paper examines this approach and finds it to be invalidated by the pervasive causal heterogeneity of crashes and would-be surrogates. Crashes are heterogeneous horizontally by type and vertically by severity. This paper argues instead for the heterogeneity principle as the foundational assumption and guiding tenet for any effort to extrapolate causal evidence from surrogates (e.g., non-crashes or minor crashes) to a different and more important target crash population such as serious crashes.