Exploring the application of latent class cluster analysis for investigating pedestrian crash injury severities in Switzerland

Lekshmi Sasidharan*, Kun-Feng Wu, Monica Menendez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


One of the major challenges in traffic safety analyses is the heterogeneous nature of safety data, due to the sundry factors involved in it. This heterogeneity often leads to difficulties in interpreting results and conclusions due to unrevealed relationships. Understanding the underlying relationship between injury severities and influential factors is critical for the selection of appropriate safety countermeasures. A method commonly employed to address systematic heterogeneity is to focus on any subgroup of data based on the research purpose. However, this need not ensure homogeneity in the data. In this paper, latent class cluster analysis is applied to identify homogenous subgroups for a specific crash type-pedestrian crashes. The manuscript employs data from police reported pedestrian (2009-2012) crashes in Switzerland. The analyses demonstrate that dividing pedestrian severity data into seven clusters helps in reducing the systematic heterogeneity of the data and to understand the hidden relationships between crash severity levels and socio-demographic, environmental, vehicle, temporal, traffic factors, and main reason for the crash. The pedestrian crash injury severity models were developed for the whole data and individual clusters, and were compared using receiver operating characteristics curve, for which results favored clustering. Overall, the study suggests that latent class clustered regression approach is suitable for reducing heterogeneity and revealing important hidden relationships in traffic safety analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-228
Number of pages10
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Binary logit
  • Cluster analysis
  • Latent class
  • Pedestrian
  • Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve
  • Severity
  • Switzerland


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