This study focused on the severity of injuries and fatalities incurred by pedestrians colliding with motor vehicles. The report includes a thorough review of the literature and a description of new research carried out on correlates of injury severity and measures of their relative effects on fatal or high injury collisions. The correlates consisted of both individual-level factors and attributes of environments at or near pedestrian collision sites.
The study focused on state routes in King County, Washington. Data came from police records processed by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) from 1999 to 2004. They included objective and modeled data in GIS on road characteristics, traffic conditions, and land uses at or near collision sites.
The results of binary and ordinal logistic models showed that fatal and high injury collisions were strongly and significantly associated with (1) a pedestrian crossing at an unsignalized intersection (versus crossing at all other locations or walking along the roadway); (2) the vehicle moving straight ahead on the roadway (versus all other types of vehicle actions). There was a lack of association between injury severity and collision frequency, suggesting that safety programs intended to reduce the number of collisions and those intended to reduce the risk of severe injury and death should use different approaches. The latter should focus on individual factors such as driver or pedestrian actions and behaviors, as well as on road environment factors such as speed limits and intersection signalization. Finally, better reports and data on vehicular speed at the time of collision, and on the type of vehicles involved in pedestrian collisions, would help to inform effective future safety programs, policies, and standards.