Ship collision accidents account for the majority of marine accidents. The collision risk can be even greater in ports where the traffic density is high and terrain conditions are difficult. The proximity assessment model of the Korea Maritime Safety Audit (KMSA), which is a tool for improving maritime traffic safety, employs a normal distribution of ship traffic to calculate the ship collision risk. However, ship traffic characteristics can differ according to the characteristics of the sea area and shipping route. Therefore, this study simulates collision probabilities by estimating the best-fit distribution function of ship traffic flow in Ulsan Port, which is the largest hazardous cargo vessel handling port in Korea. A comparison of collision probability simulation results using the best-fit function and the normal distribution function reveals a difference of approximately 1.5–2.4 times for each route. Moreover, the collision probability estimates are not accurate when the normal distribution function is uniformly applied without considering the characteristics of each route. These findings can be used to improve the KMSA evaluation method for ship collision risks, particularly in hazardous port areas.
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