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Road Design Affects Motor Vehicle-Pedestrian Collisions

No significant link for walking proportion, collision rate after adjustment for roadway design variables

MONDAY, April 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For school children, the correlation between walking to school and pedestrian collisions is not significant after adjustment for road design variables, according to a study published online April 7 in Pediatrics.

Linda Rothman, B.Sc.O.T., from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and colleagues evaluated Toronto police-reported pedestrian collision data from 2002 to 2011 for children ages 4 to 12 years. The proportion of children walking to school and built environment data were mapped onto school attendance boundaries to examine the influence of the built environment on walking to school and collisions.

The researchers identified 481 collisions, with a mean collision rate of 7.4/10,000 children per year. After adjustment for population density and roadway design variables (such as multifamily dwelling density, traffic light, traffic calming and one-way street density, school crossing guard presence, and school socioeconomic status), the correlation between walking proportion and collision rate was not significant.

"Pedestrian collisions are more strongly associated with built environment features than with proportions walking," the authors write. "Road design features were related to higher collision rates and warrant further examination for their safety effects for children."

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