Evaluating pedestrian crashes in areas with high low-income or minority populations

Caitlin D Cottrill, Piyushimita Thakuriah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we present an analysis of the relationship between pedestrian–vehicle crashes and characteristics of areas with high low-income and minority populations in the Chicago metropolitan area (also called environmental justice or EJ areas in the United States). While related research has indicated that pedestrian crashes occur more frequently in these areas than in non-EJ areas, this paper attempts to relate the incidence to environmental characteristics and behavioral factors through a better understanding of the contributing factors present in crash occurrences in EJ versus non-EJ areas. Specially constructed small-area factors from a Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) are used to explain pedestrian–vehicle crashes.

Using a Poisson model that corrects for underreporting, we find that pedestrian crash incidents in EJ areas are related to variables of exposure (including the suitability of the area for walking and transit accessibility), crime rates, transit availability, and general population demographics such as income and presence of children. Results suggest that it may be necessary to better incorporate a safety perspective or measures of safety improvements in pedestrian and transit improvements and expansion programs within EJ areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1718-1728
Number of pages11
JournalAccident Analysis & Prevention
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • pedestrian
  • crash
  • income
  • minority
  • crime
  • transit


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