Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

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Exploring Injury Severity in Head-On Crashes Using Latent Class Clustering Analysis and Mixed Logit Model: A Case Study of North Carolina

Product Type

Journal Article


Pengfei Liu and Wei Fan



Full citation

Liu, P. & Fan, W. (2020). Exploring Injury Severity in Head-On Crashes Using Latent Class Clustering Analysis and Mixed Logit Model: A Case Study of North Carolina. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 135.


Although only 2 % of crashes are head-on crashes in the United States, they account for over 10 % of all crash-related fatalities. This study aims to investigate the contributing factors that affect the injury severity of head-on crashes and develop appropriate countermeasures. Due to the unobserved heterogeneity inherent in the crash data, a latent class clustering analysis is firstly conducted to segment the head-on crashes into relatively homogeneous clusters. Then, mixed logit models are developed to further explore the unobserved heterogeneity within each cluster. Analyses are performed based on the data collected from the Highway Safety Information System (HSIS) from 2005 to 2013 in North Carolina. The estimated parameters and associated marginal effects are combined to interpret significant variables of the developed models. The proposed method is able to uncover the heterogeneity within the whole dataset and the homogeneous clusters. Results of this research can provide more reliable and insightful information to engineers and policy makers regarding the contributing factors to head-on crashes.

Available From

Accident Analysis & Prevention

Link To Journal Article

Link not available.


Head-on crashes
Latent class clustering
Mixed logit model
Severity analysis

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HSIS Summaries

HSIS Summary Reports are two to eight pages in length and include a brief description of the issue addressed, data used, methodology applied, significant results, and practical implications.

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Research Reports

A variety of research studies have been performed using data from HSIS. Many of the final reports prepared are now available electronically.

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Technical Summaries

Research reports are often summarized in executive summaries, technical briefs, or other abbreviated formats. Included here are those road safety summaries that involved research using HSIS data.

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Safety Analysis Tools

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