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July 1, 2022

The Relationship between Objectively Measured Walking and Risk of Pedestrian–Motor Vehicle Collision

Quistberg, D. Alex; Howard, Eric J.; Hurvitz, Philip M.; Moudon, Anne V.; Ebel, Beth E.; Rivara, Frederick P.; Saelens, Brian E. (2017). The Relationship between Objectively Measured Walking and Risk of Pedestrian–Motor Vehicle Collision. American Journal Of Epidemiology, 185(9), 810 – 821.

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Safe urban walking environments may improve health by encouraging physical activity, but the relationship between an individual's location and walking pattern and the risk of pedestrian-motor vehicle collision is unknown. We examined associations between individuals' walking bouts and walking risk, measured as mean exposure to the risk of pedestrian-vehicle collision. Walking bouts were ascertained through integrated accelerometry and global positioning system data and from individual travel-diary data obtained from adults in the Travel Assessment and Community Study (King County, Washington) in 2008-2009. Walking patterns were superimposed onto maps of the historical probabilities of pedestrian-vehicle collisions for intersections and midblock segments within Seattle, Washington. Mean risk of pedestrian-vehicle collision in specific walking locations was assessed according to walking exposure (duration, distance, and intensity) and participant demographic characteristics in linear mixed models. Participants typically walked in areas with low pedestrian collision risk when walking for recreation, walking at a faster pace, or taking longer-duration walks. Mean daily walking duration and distance were not associated with collision risk. Males walked in areas with higher collision risk compared with females, while vehicle owners, residents of single-family homes, and parents of young children walked in areas with lower collision risk. These findings may suggest that pedestrians moderate collision risk by using lower-risk routes.


Traffic Accidents; Confidence Intervals; Geographic Information Systems; Health Promotion; Maps; Research Funding; Walking; Accelerometry; Physical Activity; Data Analysis Software; Diary (literary Form); Descriptive Statistics; Risk Factors; Washington (state); Accidents; Environment Design; Global Positioning Systems; Pedestrians; Risk Assessment; Traffic; Physical-activity; Built Environment; Traffic Safety; Accident Risk; Injury Rates; Route-choice; Exposure; Gps; Travel; Accidents, Traffic