Identification of road safety measures by elderly pedestrians based on K-means clustering and hierarchical cluster analysis.


  • Salvatore Leonardi University of Catania, Department of Civil Engineering and Architectural, Catania Author
  • Natalia Distefano University of Catania, Department of Civil Engineering and Architectural, Catania Author
  • Giulia Pulvirenti University of Catania, Department of Civil Engineering and Architectural, Catania Author



road traffic, safety measures, road safety, cluster analysis, human factor, vulnerable users, elderly pedestrians


Introduction: Pedestrians aged over 65 are known to be a critical group in terms of road safety because they represent the age group with the highest number of fatalities or injured people in road accidents. With a current ageing population throughout much of the developed world, there is an imminent need to understand the current transportation requirements of older adults, and to ensure sustained safe mobility and healthy. Objectives: The aim of this study is to capture and analyze the key components that influence the identification of design solutions and strategies aimed at improving the safety of pedestrian paths for elderly. Method: A survey was conducted in 5 different locations in Catania, Italy. The locations were specifically chosen near to attraction poles for elderly pedestrians (e.g. centers for the elderly, squares, churches). Participants were recruited in person, so as to select exclusively people over 70. The sample comprised 322 participants. Both Hierarchical and K-Means clustering were used in order to explore which solutions elderly pedestrian propose for improving the safety of pedestrian path. Results: The results show that the judgment expressed by the elderly on the solutions for improving pedestrian safety is linked to the gender, to the experience as road users, and to mobility and vision problems. All solutions proposed regard road infrastructure (improvement of pedestrian crossings and of sidewalks, implementation of traffic calming measures, improvement of lighting), except for police supervision. Conclusion: This study has identified the factors that influence the identification of the best solutions to increase the safety level of pedestrian paths for elderly people. The aspects related to human factors considered were the gender, the factors associated with the experience as road users and the factors related to age related problems (mobility, vision and hearing problems). The results of this research could support traffic engineers, planners, and decision-makers to consider the contributing factors in engineering measures to improve the safety of vulnerable users such as elderly pedestrians.


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How to Cite

Leonardi, S., Distefano, N., & Pulvirenti, G. (2020). Identification of road safety measures by elderly pedestrians based on K-means clustering and hierarchical cluster analysis. Archives of Transport, 56(4), 107-118.


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