Multilevel models for evaluating the risk of pedestrian–motor vehicle collisions at intersections and mid-blocks

Walking is a popular form of physical activity associated with clear health benefits. Promoting safe walking for pedestrians requires evaluating the risk of pedestrian–motor vehicle collisions at specific roadway locations in order to identify where road improvements and other interventions may be needed. The objective of this analysis was to estimate the risk of pedestrian collisions at intersections and mid-blocks in Seattle, WA. The study used 2007–2013 pedestrian–motor vehicle collision data from police reports and detailed characteristics of the microenvironment and macroenvironment at intersection and mid-block locations. The primary outcome was the number of pedestrian–motor vehicle collisions over time at each location (incident rate ratio [IRR] and 95% confidence interval [95% CI]). Multilevel mixed effects Poisson models accounted for correlation within and between locations and census blocks over time. Analysis accounted for pedestrian and vehicle activity (e.g., residential density and road classification). In the final multivariable model, intersections with 4 segments or 5 or more segments had higher pedestrian collision rates compared to mid-blocks. Non-residential roads had significantly higher rates than residential roads, with principal arterials having the highest collision rate. The pedestrian collision rate was higher by 9% per 10 feet of street width. Locations with traffic signals had twice the collision rate of locations without a signal and those with marked crosswalks also had a higher rate. Locations with a marked crosswalk also had higher risk of collision. Locations with a one-way road or those with signs encouraging motorists to cede the right-of-way to pedestrians had fewer pedestrian collisions. Collision rates were higher in locations that encourage greater pedestrian activity (more bus use, more fast food restaurants, higher employment, residential, and population densities). Locations with higher intersection density had a lower rate of collisions as did those in areas with higher residential property values. The novel spatiotemporal approach used that integrates road/crossing characteristics with surrounding neighborhood characteristics should help city agencies better identify high-risk locations for further study and analysis. Improving roads and making them safer for pedestrians achieves the public health goals of reducing pedestrian collisions and promoting physical activity.


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  • Accession Number: 01579758
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 6 2015 9:21AM