A new approach in analyzing the accident severity of pedestrian crashes using structural equation modeling
Background: According to official statistics in Iran, there were 17000 fatalities in road traffic crashes in 2018 that 25% of all crash fatalities belong to pedestrians. In most of the researches related to pedestrians’ safety, one aspect of the traffic crash (e.g. the injury or crash severity) is almost considered for the investigation. In order to perform a complete study of the crash, accident size can be utilized which involves different aspects of the crash. Accident size is described in terms of the number of fatalities and injured individuals and the number of damaged and involved vehicles in a crash.
Method: According to the fact that accident size has multiple indicators and it is not measured directly, traditional methodologies cannot be applied. So, in the present study the effective factors on the accident size of pedestrian crashes are investigated through structural equation modeling. For the purpose of this study, 3718 pedestrian-involved crash data occurred in Isfahan province is used for the modeling. The independent variables are weather conditions, road surface conditions, time, horizontal and vertical alignments, road type and location, driver’s gender and age, vehicle type, pedestrian’s age, gender and clothing color.
Results: The results indicated that highways, the pedestrians’ invisibility, female and old-aged pedestrians, heavy vehicles, old-aged and female drivers are related to the increase of the accident size in pedestrian crashes. These results denote that the mentioned variables are associated with the higher number of injuries, fatalities, the higher number of involved and damaged vehicles in a crash.
Conclusion: Present study shows the importance of considering safety improvement measures in highways, educating the people in the society about the traffic safety, the separation of pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic flow and considering the old people in policies and programs for mitigating the accident size.
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