Integrated indicator to evaluate vehicle performance across: Safety, fuel efficiency and green domains

G. Torrao*, T. Fontes, M. Coelho, N. Rouphail

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In general, car manufacturers face trade-offs between safety, efficiency and environmental performance when choosing between mass, length, engine power, and fuel efficiency. Moreover, the information available to the consumers makes difficult to assess all these components at once, especially when aiming to compare vehicles across different categories and/or to compare vehicles in the same category but across different model years. The main objective of this research was to develop an integrated tool able to assess vehicle's performance simultaneously for safety and environmental domains, leading to the research output of a Safety, Fuel Efficiency and Green Emissions (SEG) indicator able to evaluate and rank vehicle's performance across those three domains. For this purpose, crash data was gathered in Porto (Portugal) for the period 2006-2010 (N = 1374). The crash database was analyzed and crash severity prediction models were developed using advanced logistic regression models. Following, the methodology for the SEG indicator was established combining the vehicle's safety and the environmental evaluation into an integrated analysis. The obtained results for the SEG indicator do not show any trade-off between vehicle's safety, fuel consumption and emissions. The best performance was achieved for newer gasoline passenger vehicles (<5year) with a smaller engine size (<1400 cm3). According to the SEG indicator, a vehicle with these characteristics can be recommended for a safety-conscious profile user, as well as for a user more interested in fuel economy and/or in green performance. On the other hand, for larger engine size vehicles (>2000 cm3) the combined score for safety user profile was in average more satisfactory than for vehicles in the smaller engine size group (<1400 cm3), which suggests that in general, larger vehicles may offer extra protection. The achieved results demonstrate that the developed SEG integrated methodology can be a helpful tool for consumers to evaluate their vehicle selection through different domains (safety, fuel efficiency and green emissions). Furthermore, SEG indicator allows the comparison of vehicles across different categories and vehicle model years. Hence, this research is intended to support the decision-making process for transportation policy, safety and sustainable mobility, providing insights not only to policy makers, but also for general public guidance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Early online date9 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Crash severity
  • Integrated analysis
  • User profile
  • Vehicle performance


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