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Integrating CFA and EFA to Find Robust Predictors of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crashes

Abstract: Pedestrian and bicycle crashes have been increasing at an alarming pace in recent years. The number of pedestrians killed in traffic increased 11 percent in 2015 and approached to 6,000 in 2016. As vulnerable road users, pedestrian and bicyclist activities are strongly correlated to the prevailing roadway and surrounding environmental factors. This study has two objectives: 1) analyze the extent to which the roadway and surrounding environment variables are related to traffic accidents; and 2) develop forecasting models to predict pedestrian and cyclist crashes along highway corridors. In contrast to previous studies who primarily focused on predicting pedestrian /bicyclist crashes at a specific location, this study will focus on a sample of 200 one-mile long highway corridors in areas with at least 100 residents per square mile in Wisconsin.

 Explanatory variables will be collected from multiple databases including transportation agencies’ highway inventory, Smart Location database, US Census TIGER/line dataset, and Google Maps and Google Street View imagery. Crash data will be police-reported crashes during a ten-year period from 2006 to 2015. The structural equation modeling (SEM) will be applied by integrating the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to establish the relationship crashes and explanatory variables. SEM is considered as highly flexible and capable of capturing the interrelationship among exogenous and endogenous variables through the inclusion of latent (unobserved) variables such as “exposure”. Multiple SEM scenarios with different latent variables will be defined and tested. This research will impute relationships between latent variables from observable variables to justify and support the discovery of underlying connections between pedestrian and bicyclists crashes, traffic exposure factors, and risk factors.

Farah Al-Mahameed - is a Ph.D. Student in the Civil and Environmental Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Safe and Smart (S2) Traffic Laboratory. Her research interests are traffic safety as well as pedestrian and bicyclist crashes. Farah received her M.Sc. in Transportation Engineering from the University of Jordan-Amman, Jordan and her bachelor degree in Highway and Bridges Engineering from Al-Balqa’ Applied University, Amman, Jordan.



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