Pedestrian Accidents: A State-of-the-Art 1970–1980
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Pedestrian Accidents: A State-of-the-Art 1970–1980

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    • Abstract:
      In 1979 in the United States, 8,090 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents out of a total of 51,093 total traffic fatalities. An estimated total of 150,000 police reported pedestrian accidents of all severities occurred during the same year with at least 128,000 of these resulting in injury. When one compares pedestrian accidents with total reported traffic accidents of all kinds in 1979 (7,330,000), it seems to be a very small segment of the problem--2 percent. However, pedestrian accidents account for a full 16 percent of the total traffic accident fatalities. This report discusses the pedestrian accident problem in this country by providing statistics on the basic characteristics of the accidents and summarizing the findings from four major research studies. It appears that the age and sex of the pedestrian, the location of the accident, and the type of vehicle striking the pedestrian all play an important role in the problem. The pedestrian problem truly is most severe for the young (5-8 years old) and the old (greater than or equal to 64 years old) with males being overrepresented in all age groups but especially those pedestrians between 25-34 years of age. Three location factors are very significant in fatal accidents--rural roads, high-speed roads, including major arteries, and non-intersection areas. The size of the striking vehicle is also important: the heavier the vehicle, the more likely a fatality. In the U.S. experience, there have been four major pedestrian accident research studies in the 1970s which have had important results. These four studies have provided further detail and new findings in the areas of injury causation and severity, pedestrian accident typologies and scenarios, and the role of alcohol involvement. Findings and recommendations emanating from these studies are reported and discussed. Future research using the National Accident Sampling System is recommended. The report concludes that the pedestrian problem is unique and has no single, high impact solution. A concerted effort of several promising countermeasure approaches must be made to reduce that loss. /Abstract from report summary page/
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