Pedestrian injury and human behaviour: observing road-rule violations at high-incident intersections
Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2011 Cinnamon et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
BACKGROUND: Human behaviour is an obvious, yet under-studied factor in pedestrian injury. Behavioural interventions that address rule violations by pedestrians and motorists could potentially reduce the frequency of pedestrian injury. In this study, a method was developed to examine road-rule non-compliance by pedestrians and motorists. The purpose of the study was to examine the potential association between violations made by pedestrians and motorists at signalized intersections, and collisions between pedestrians and motor-vehicles. The underlying hypothesis is that high-incident pedestrian intersections are likely to vary with respect to their aetiology, and thus are likely to require individualized interventions--based on the type and rate of pedestrian and motorist violation. METHODS: High-incident pedestrian injury intersections in Vancouver, Canada were identified using geographic information systems. Road-rule violations by pedestrians and motorists were documented at each incident hotspot by a team of observers at several different time periods during the day. RESULTS: Approximately 9,000 pedestrians and 18,000 vehicles were observed in total. In total for all observed intersections, over 2000 (21%) pedestrians committed one of the observed pedestrian road-crossing violations, while approximately 1000 (5.9%) drivers committed one of the observed motorist violations. Great variability in road-rule violations was observed between intersections, and also within intersections at different observation periods. CONCLUSIONS: Both motorists and pedestrians were frequently observed committing road-rule violations at signalized intersections, suggesting a potential human behavioural contribution to pedestrian injury at the study sites. These results suggest that each intersection may have unique mechanisms that contribute to pedestrian injury, and may require targeted behavioural interventions. The method described in this study provides the basis for understanding the relationship between violations and pedestrian injury risk at urban intersections. Findings could be applied to targeted prevention campaigns designed to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries at signalized intersections.
A Mathematics of Information Technology and Computing Science (MITACS) Accelerate internship held by JC provided funding for this project, which was carried out in conjunction with Trauma Services at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). Additional research support for JC was provided by a SSHRC doctoral scholarship. NS is supported by career awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
This is the final version of the article. Available from Public Library of Science via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 6 (6), article e21063
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