Explaining the rise in pedestrian fatalities: A Safe Systems approach

Pedestrian fatalities increased to 5,987 in 2016, compared to 5,495 (2015) and 4,910 (2014), or an increase of 22% in the past 2 years. This is particularly alarming after so many years of decreasing pedestrian fatalities nationwide since the early 1970s. The purpose of this project is to convene a diverse group of cross-sector experts and examine available data sources to explore the underlying and complex factors driving the national rise in pedestrian deaths and share and develop insights into strategies to prevent pedestrian injuries and deaths. Through interactive workshops and data review, this project will examine: (1) the issues driving the rapid increase in pedestrian deaths; (2) hypotheses about the problem that deserve further research and exploration; and (3) potential high-value opportunities that improve pedestrian safety, beyond traditional transportation agency interventions. Ultimately, this project will inform future efforts to support USDOT, states, and local communities interested in utilizing a broader array of policy levers to advance pedestrian safety goals. The project is also designed to put innovative systems science tools and theory to work, demonstrating a powerful means for examining underlying drivers of complex problems and exploring effective leverage points for interventions.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $53000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety

    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    Chapel Hill, NC  United States  27514
  • Project Managers:

    Sandt, Laura

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill, NC  United States  27599
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sandt, Laura

    Nauman, Rebecca

  • Start Date: 20180314
  • Expected Completion Date: 20200430
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01855098
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747113
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 19 2022 3:00PM