IN PEDESTRIAN CRASHES, IT'S VEHICLE SPEED THAT MATTERS MOST

Whatever their age, pedestrians involved in collisions are more likely to be killed as vehicle speeds increase. In crashes at any given speed, older pedestrians are more likely to die than younger pedestrians. These are the two main findings of a report on pedestrian casualties recently prepared by the Preusser Research Group for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Under 2% of struck pedestrians died in accidents where posted speed limits were under 25%, but over 22% of struck pedestrians died where speed limits were at least 50mph. Pedestrians aged at least 65 are five times as likely to die as pedestrians aged under 15. Vehicle speeds should be lower in areas where more pedestrians are present, because injury severity rises with speed. Reducing speed limits by itself can bring small improvements, but effective enforcement of these limits is more critical. The consequences of being stopped by the police for speeding must be meaningful enough to prevent drivers from knowingly taking this risk. Speed cameras are as effective a deterrent as the presence of police officers. Pedestrian safety can be increased by: (1) reducing travel speed by traffic calming and roundabouts; (2) placing crossings away from stop lines and merge areas; and (3) longer traffic signal green times for pedestrians.

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  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00799685
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Oct 6 2000 12:00AM