Influence of pedestrian age and gender on spatial and temporal distribution of pedestrian crashes

Objectives: Every year, about 1.24 million people are killed in traffic crashes worldwide and more than 22% of these deaths are pedestrians. Therefore, pedestrian safety has become a significant traffic safety issue worldwide. In order to develop effective and targeted safety programs, the location- and time-specific influences on vehicle–pedestrian crashes must be assessed. The main purpose of this research is to explore the influence of pedestrian age and gender on the temporal and spatial distribution of vehicle–pedestrian crashes to identify the hotspots and hot times.

Methods: Data for all vehicle–pedestrian crashes on public roadways in the Melbourne metropolitan area from 2004 to 2013 are used in this research. Spatial autocorrelation is applied in examining the vehicle–pedestrian crashes in geographic information systems (GIS) to identify any dependency between time and location of these crashes. Spider plots and kernel density estimation (KDE) are then used to determine the temporal and spatial patterns of vehicle–pedestrian crashes for different age groups and genders.

Results: Temporal analysis shows that pedestrian age has a significant influence on the temporal distribution of vehicle–pedestrian crashes. Furthermore, men and women have different crash patterns. In addition, results of the spatial analysis shows that areas with high risk of vehicle–pedestrian crashes can vary during different times of the day for different age groups and genders. For example, for those between ages 18 and 65, most vehicle–pedestrian crashes occur in the central business district (CBD) during the day, but between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., crashes among this age group occur mostly around hotels, clubs, and bars.

Conclusions: This research reveals that temporal and spatial distributions of vehicle–pedestrian crashes vary for different pedestrian age groups and genders. Therefore, specific safety measures should be in place during high crash times at different locations for different age groups and genders to increase the effectiveness of the countermeasures in preventing and reducing vehicle–pedestrian crashes.