Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Management Studies

A Novel Approach to Evaluate the Road Safety Index: A Case Study in the Roads of East Azerbaijan Province in Iran

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Management Studies

A Novel Approach to Evaluate the Road Safety Index: A Case Study in the Roads of East Azerbaijan Province in Iran

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)


According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2015), more than 1.2 million people die each year on the world's roads, making road traffic damage a leading cause of death globally. WHO estimates road accidents will become the world's third leading cause of death by the year 2020. In the road accidents, financial losses are estimated one to three percent of the gross domestic product per capita (WHO, 2015). Road accidents lead to the waste of national capitals and have devastating effects on the development of countries, especially the low-income states. Presently in Iran, driving accidents are the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular diseases, and the most common reason for referral to the emergency operating rooms.

Road safety index is one of the important indicators in terms of road safety performance. The multidimensional structure and complexity of the road safety show that policy makers should apply various influential factors to the road safety (Elvik et al., 2009; Shen et al., 2015). Introduction of a composite road safety index could be useful to reduce the dimensions of the problem. However, determining the weight of sub-indicators or various factors affecting the road safety is challenging. Sensible judgment is needed to specify the weight of the factors affecting the road safety.

Performance evaluation is one of the main components of a successful management system, and it plays a key role in optimally allocating the road safety budget, selecting effective plans and prioritizing road safety plans. The assessment of the road safety performance is applied to improve the efficiency of the road policies that directly relate to human life. Various methods have been proposed to assess the safety of roads and highways (Cafiso et al., 2007; Harwood et al., 2010; Xie et al., 2011; Sacchi et al., 2012; Mbakwe et al., 2016; Grande et al., 2017; Schlögl, and Stütz, 2017). Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is one of the methods that have been recently used to evaluate road safety efficiency.

DEA is a non-parametric approach to evaluate the performance of set of decision-making units (DMUs) (Charnes et al., 1978; Banker et al., 1984). DEA measures the relative efficiency of a set of DMUs using mathematical programming and computes efficiency scores, benchmarking partners, and areas to improve.

In recent years, many researchers have studied the Road Safety Index using DeA method (Odeck, 2006; Hermans et al., 2008, 2009; Shen et al., 2011; Shen et al., 2012; Shen et al., 2013). Odeck (2006) investigated target achievements within the transport sector in regard to the road safety with the application of DEA method. Hermans et al. (2008) studied the road safety performance that the application of a construction process that included factor analysis, analytic hierarchy process, and DEA approach. In addition, Hermans et al. (2009) have proposed benchmarking of road safety using DEA approach with regard to various risk aspects of road safety system. Shen et al. (2011) proposed a generalized multiple layer DEA model to improve the multilayer hierarchical structures of inputs and outputs. They evaluated the road safety performance in some countries according to the proposed generalized model. Shen et al. (2012) evaluated road performance in European Union countries based on the Road safety risk, and presented benchmarks for underperforming countries using nonparametric methods. Besides, they applied the DEA-based road safety model to measure road safety efficiency values, and to use the cross-efficiency method for ranking different countries. They applied their model to classify DEA models to define the best-performing and underperforming countries.

In this paper, the performance assessment of road safety system is studied with the DEA approach, and a novel method is proposed. In the proposed method, the selected road safety indicators are classified into two categories, i. …

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