Redefining the child pedestrian safety paradigm: identifying high fatality concentrations in urban areas

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ObjectivesChild pedestrians are some of the most vulnerable users of our transportation systems, and they deserve particular attention when we consider traffic safety. The objective of this work is to identify urban locations in which child pedestrians are at particular risk for fatal collisions with vehicles.MethodsThis paper examines 30 years of crash data for six American cities to locate areas with high child pedestrian fatality concentrations. Phase I of the study, which examines Denver, Colorado, USA, reveals higher concentrations of child pedestrian fatalities around parks as compared with other areas that children have been shown to frequent. In phase II of the study, we specifically examine fatality concentrations near parks as compared with schools.ResultsStatistical analyses suggest that, once exposure is controlled for, child pedestrian fatalities concentrate around parks in densities 1.04–2.23 times higher than around schools. Also, the concentration of child pedestrian fatalities around parks is 1.16–1.81 times higher than the respective citywide concentration.ConclusionTraffic risks for children around parks deserve further examination as we pursue the goals of Vision Zero and child safety on our streets.

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