Exploration of U.S. National Pedestrian Traffic Crashes

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Date

2022-11-07

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National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence

Abstract

The number of pedestrian traffic fatalities in the U.S. has been increasing since 2009, following a general decline for several decades, while the number of non-fatally injured pedestrians in traffic crashes remained relatively consistent during the same period. Despite this disparity, there are few traffic safety studies on the differences between fatal and non-fatal injured pedestrians. This exploratory analysis provides a general landscape of the characteristics of recent police-reported crashes for fatally and non-fatally injured pedestrians, including environment, vehicle, driver, and pedestrian characteristics, as well as a comparison of those characteristics for fatal versus non-fatal injured pedestrians. Pedestrian cases were extracted from the U.S. national datasets of police-reported traffic crashes maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Fatal pedestrian crash data were collected from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System for calendar years (CYs) 2010–2019. Non-fatal injured pedestrian crash data were collected from the National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System for CYs 2010–2015 and the Crash Report Sampling System for CYs 2016–2019. The findings of this landscape analysis can be used to identify potential factors influencing the continued increase in fatalities and the differences between fatal and non-fatal pedestrian crashes. This information is important for determining areas of further study needed to develop or refine vehicle and infrastructure countermeasures and public campaigns to improve pedestrian traffic safety.

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Keywords

Vulnerable road users, transportation safety, Pedestrian injuries, Pedestrian fatalities

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