A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota takes a closer look at the factors that cause pedestrian accidents. While the study specifically focused on the city of Minneapolis, its findings are relevant to all large cities across the country.
The study reveals that there are some intersections that are inherently riskier than others. But perhaps contrary to what many might expect, the intersections that are most heavily traversed by pedestrians are not the intersections that are most likely to have a higher rate of collisions.
A look at the study results
Researchers analyzed 448 Minneapolis intersections where the city had data on both pedestrian and automobile counts, and then compared that data with crash reports filed in the city. All crashes involving pedestrians — not just those causing injuries or fatalities — were analyzed as part of the study. The researchers discovered a strong negative correlation between the risk of being hit by a car and the number of pedestrians in the area.
The study does not, however establish any causation — merely a correlation. There is no evidence to say if the safety of an intersection makes people more likely to walk there, or if a large number of pedestrians is what makes an intersection safe.
Researchers also analyzed possible variables to determine if other factors were at play that caused more pedestrian accidents. For example, an absence of a shoulder or bike lane could lead to a greater risk for pedestrians. The authors also noted pedestrian income and race are factors that must be considered, as poor people and minorities are statically more likely to be killed in accidents involving motor vehicles.
While further studies are needed, researchers hope their findings will help create better measurements of pedestrian safety in the future.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, speak with a trusted San Diego personal injury lawyer at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.