Predicting Accident Severity: An Analysis of Factors Affecting Accident Severity Using Random Forest Model


Adekunle Adefabi, Somtobe Olisah, Callistus Obunadike, Oluwatosin Oyetubo, Esther Taiwo and Edward Tella, Austin Peay State University, USA


Road accidents have significant economic and societal costs, with a small number of severe accidents accounting for a large portion of these costs. Predicting accident severity can help in the proactive approach to road safety by identifying potential unsafe road conditions and taking well-informed actions to reduce the number of severe accidents. This study investigates the effectiveness of the Random Forest machine learning algorithm for predicting the severity of an accident. The model is trained on a dataset of accident records from a large metropolitan area and evaluated using various metrics. Hyperparameters and feature selection are optimized to improve the model's performance. The results show that the Random Forest model is an effective tool for predicting accident severity with an accuracy of over 80%. The study also identifies the top six most important variables in the model, which include wind speed, pressure, humidity, visibility, clear conditions, and cloud cover. The fitted model has an Area Under the Curve of 80%, a recall of 79.2%, a precision of 97.1%, and an F1 score of 87.3%. These results suggest that the proposed model has higher performance in explaining the target variable, which is the accident severity class. Overall, the study provides evidence that the Random Forest model is a viable and reliable tool for predicting accident severity and can be used to help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries due to road accidents in the United States.


Machine Learning, Random Forest Model, Accident Severity Prediction, Mean Decrease Gini