Over 35,000 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States in 2015. As active transportation is encouraged and active travelers are more vulnerable to serious injury if involed in a motor vehicle traffic crash, it is important to address traffic safety to support environments to walk or ride a bicycle. Traffic crashes carry additional health risks beyond physical injury, as the perception of danger from accidents can deter walking, cycling and other physical activity,1 especially for younger children and the elderly.2 Total pedestrian-involved fatal traffic accidents are normalized by Census block group population to derive a per 1,000 rate. Fatal accidents are tracked by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which publish data annually through the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) is a nationwide census providing the U.S. DOT NHTSA public yearly data, including address location, regarding fatal injuries suffered in motor vehicle traffic crashes. The FARS data also provides additional supplemental information including the number of persons involved, whether pedestrians or cyclists were involved, the speed of the accident and the cause including whether drunk driving was a factor. To qualify as a FARS case, the crash had to involve a motor vehicle traveling on a roadway customarily open to the public, and must have resulted in the death of a motorist or a non-motorist within 30 days of the crash. The latitude and longitude coordinates for each crash were geocoded and counted by block group.
- Pedestrian-involved fatal traffic crash rate = (Number of pedestrian-involved fatal traffic crashes within Census block group / Census block group American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate 2014 population) * 1,000
The MSA level value is the unweighted mean of the values of all block groups in the MSA.
This indicator was calculated by Urban Design 4 Health using data from the sources listed below.
- U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 2015.
- Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimates, 2014.
- Duncan, M.J., Spence, J.C. & Mummery, K. (2005). Perceived Environment and Physical Activity: A Meta-Analysis of Selected Environmental Characteristics. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity, 2(11).
- Timperio, A., Salmon, J., Telford, A. & Crawford, D. (2005). Perceptions of Local Neighborhood Environments and Their Relationship to Childhood Overweight and Obesity. International Journal of Obesity, 29(2), 170-175.