Each year from 1998 to 2007, an average of approximately 4,800 pedestrians were killed and 71,000 pedestrians were injured in United States traffic crashes. Because many pedestrian crashes occur at roadway intersections, it is important to understand the intersection characteristics that are associated with pedestrian crash risk. This study uses detailed pedestrian crash data and pedestrian volume estimates to analyze pedestrian crash risk at 81 intersections along arterial and collector roadways in Alameda County, California. The analysis compares pedestrian crash rates (crashes per 10,000,000 pedestrian crossings) with intersection characteristics. In addition, more than 30 variables were considered for developing a statistical model of the number of pedestrian crashes reported at each study intersection from 1998 to 2007. After accounting for pedestrian and motor vehicle volume at each intersection, negative binomial regression shows that there were significantly more pedestrian crashes at intersections with more right-turn-only lanes, more non-residential driveways within 50 feet (15 m), more commercial properties within 0.1 miles (161 m), and a greater percentage of residents within 0.25 miles (402 m) who are younger than age 18. Raised medians on both intersecting streets were associated with lower numbers of pedestrian crashes. These results, viewed in combination with other research findings, can be used by practitioners to design safer intersections for pedestrians. This exploratory study also provides a methodological framework for future pedestrian safety studies.
January 1, 2010