According to the author, naval ship handling still relies heavily on craft expertise. His article writes down some formulas and procedures to reduce collision risk. Source: When Am I Committed to Collision? | U.S. Naval Institute My own reaction is in a brief comment at the end of the article.
Here is another article in the same issue of US Naval Institute Proceedings that does a great job of explaining how collisions can happen, and why the captain of a USN ship is always responsible, and never completely safe.
This is the burden of command. A captain puts the lives of several hundred sailors into the hands of a young officer, typically 25 years old and typically green. So what does a captain count on to prevent disaster? The captain has “standing orders.” These are the rules in his or her ship that everyone (especially the OOD) lives by. …”