Investigation of Pedestrian Injury Severity in Crashes at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings Using Latent Class Analysis

This research investigated factors associated with severity of pedestrian injuries sustained in train-pedestrian crashes reported at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings (HRGCs) in the U.S. The analysis was based on 2009-2014 crash data and crossing inventory data acquired from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration. The issue of unobserved heterogeneity in train-pedestrian crashes has been overlooked in the published literature; not accounting for unobserved heterogeneity in the analysis has implications for inferences drawn from modeling results. Therefore, this research utilized latent class clustering which addressed unobserved heterogeneity by identifying distinct subgroups of data with homogeneous attributes. The dataset was partitioned into four clusters based on crossing characteristics. Then binary logit models were estimated for each cluster to reveal crossing and crash attributes associated with pedestrian injuries at HRGCs; a model based on the complete dataset (i.e., without clustering) was estimated for comparison. The comparison showed the merit in accounting for unobserved heterogeneity; modeling results revealed that the effects of HRGC characteristics and crash attributes on pedestrian injury severity varied across different clusters. Higher train speeds were associated with more severe injury propensity across all four clusters. Variables such as freight trains, crash circumstances, warning bells at crossings, commercial areas around HRGCs, presence of train detection with constant warning time, crashes at nighttime, driver age, adverse weather and existence of highway intersections within 75 feet of crossings increased injury severity at crossings belonging to one or more clusters.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AHB60 Standing Committee on Highway/Rail Grade Crossings. Alternate title: Pedestrian Injury Severity in Crashes at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Zhao, Shanshan
    • Iranitalab, Amirfarrokh
    • Khattak, Aemal
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2016


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 17p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 95th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01594596
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 16-3697
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 12 2016 5:36PM