Accident Analysis and Prevention vol:40 issue:4 pages:1337-1344
In this paper we focus on an essential step in the construction process of a composite road safety performance indicator: the assignment of weights to the individual indicators. In the composite indicator literature, this subject has been discussed for a long time, and no agreement has been reached so far. The aim of this research is to provide insights in the most important weighting methods: factor analysis, analytic hierarchy process, budget allocation, data envelopment analysis and equal weighting. We will give the essential theoretical considerations, apply the methods on road safety data from various countries and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. This will facilitate the selection of a justifiable method. It is shown that the position of a country in the ranking is influenced by the method used. The weighting methods agree more for countries with a relatively bad road safety performance. Of the five techniques, the weights based on data envelopment analysis resulted in the highest correlation with the road safety ranking of 21 European countries based on the number of traffic fatalities per million inhabitants. This method is valuable for the development of a road safety index.