Traffic safety studies demand more than what current micro-simulation models can provide as they presume that all drivers of motor vehicles exhibit safe behaviours. Several car-following models are used in various micro-simulation models. This research compares the mainstream car following models’ capabilities of emulating precise driver behaviour parameters such as headways and Time to Collisions. The comparison firstly illustrates which model is more robust in the metric reproduction. Secondly, the study conducted a series of sensitivity tests to further explore the behaviour of each model. Based on the outcome of these two steps exploration of the models, a modified structure and parameters adjustment for each car-following model is proposed to simulate more realistic vehicle movements, particularly headways and Time to Collision, below a certain critical threshold. NGSIM vehicle trajectory data is used to evaluate the modified models performance to assess critical safety events within traffic flow. The simulation tests outcomes indicate that the proposed modified models produce better frequency of critical Time to Collision than the generic models, while the improvement on the headway is not significant. The outcome of this paper facilitates traffic safety assessment using microscopic simulation.