Geographic and Time-of-Day Shifts in Pedestrian Crashes by Injury Severity Level
This project will explore geographic and time-of-day shifts in pedestrian crashes by injury severity level. Both fatal and non-fatal pedestrian injuries are important to understand due to their personal and societal costs, even though we lack a good national dataset that documents them. If all levels of injuries are shifting in a similar way as fatalities, then increases in fatalities may simply reflect higher pedestrian exposure overall, especially at certain locations and times. But if the more recent locations and times of crashes are associated with a more severe distribution of injuries, then the higher numbers of fatalities may be due to the same overall level of pedestrian activity shifting to locations and times that are prone to more severe injury outcomes. In either case, understanding where and when crashes are occurring—and why locations and times might be shifting—is essential to preventing future pedestrian injuries.
We will use pedestrian injury severity data from at least 10 metropolitan regions from the 2010s and early 2020s to answer the following questions:
1) How much did fatal, severe, and non-severe pedestrian injuries change over the last decade?
2) What geographic shifts occurred in pedestrian crashes at each injury severity level over the last decade?
3) What time-of-day shifts occurred in pedestrian crashes at each injury severity level over the last decade?
4) Why did these geographic and temporal shifts in different injury levels occur?
The research team will produce a final technical report with static maps that show geographic shifts and static charts that show temporal shifts. We will use ArcGIS Online and other interactive data visualization tools to create a web-based dashboard for the general public to see the maps and charts change over the decade. These tools will help practitioners understand the results more clearly and also increase awareness of pedestrian safety trends and needs among the general public.
The final report will identify notable differences by state, metropolitan region, and even general types of neighborhood areas. The final report will include recommendations for focusing safety treatments in certain parts of metropolitan regions (e.g., along suburban arterial roadways) and at certain times of day (e.g., before midnight) that are experiencing increases in pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries. It will also recommend further research to address data and analysis limitations.
Our tech transfer will include posting the report and interactive tools to the CPBS website. We will also share the deliverables with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, Institute of Transportation Engineers, State DOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinators, and other professional network e-mail lists, and present the tool to at least two major conference audiences.
Finally, the analysis approaches and results of this study will covered in the UWM Urban Planning Department graduate Pedestrian & Bicycle Transportation course and in the Civil and Environmental Engineering undergraduate Urban Transportation Planning course and graduate Methods of Transportation Analysis course.
06/01/2023 to 05/31/2024
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Robert J. Schneider
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Research Project Funding