Report numberRA-2002-02
TitleProfiling high frequency accident locations using associations rules
AuthorsKarolien Geurts
Geert Wets
Tom Brijs
Koen Vanhoof
Published byPolicy Research Centre for Traffic Safety 2002-2006
Number of pages18
Document languageEnglish
Partner(s)LUC (nu UHasselt)
Work packageOther: Knowledge traffic unsafety

In Belgium, traffic safety is currently one of the government’s highest priorities. Identifying and profiling black spots and black zones in terms of accident related data and location characteristics must provide new insights into the complexity and causes of road accidents which, in turn, provide valuable input for government actions. In this paper, association rules are used to identify accident circumstances that frequently occur together at high frequency accident locations. Furthermore, these patterns are analysed and compared with frequently occurring accident characteristics at low frequency accident locations. The strength of this approach lies within the identification of relevant variables that make a strong contribution towards a better understanding of accident circumstances and the discerning of descriptive accident patterns from more discriminating accident circumstances to profile black spots and black zones. The use of this data mining algorithm is particularly useful in the context of large datasets on road accidents, since data mining can be described as the extraction of information from large amounts of data. Results show that human and behavioural aspects are of great importance when analysing frequently occurring accident patterns. These factors play an important role in identifying traffic safety problems in general. However, the most discriminating accident characteristics between high frequency accident locations and low frequency accident locations are mainly related to infrastructure and location characteristics.

DownloadPDF icon RA-2002-02 .pdf


The Policy Research Centre for Traffic Safety carries out policy relevant scientific research under the authority of the Flemish Government. The Centre is the result of a

cooperation between Hasselt University, KU Leuven and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.


Leuven vito