Using integrated data to examine characteristics related to pedestrian and bicyclist injuries

In 2016, there were 5,987 pedestrian fatalities in the United States (U.S.), or an average of one death every 1.5 hours, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The number of pedestrian deaths reported in 2016 is part of an alarming trend; since 2010, the number of U.S. pedestrian fatalities has increased by an average of six percent a year. In a previous CSCRS-funded study (Rapid Response 1), the research team identified 40 variables and key themes as possible drivers of the increasing pedestrian fatality trend. While the original research team investigated some of these variables using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, they were limited in scope by examining only mortality data. Therefore, the research team will build on their prior work through a population-based linkage study of pedestrian and bicycle crash and emergency department (ED) visit data for the state of North Carolina (NC). Using this linked dataset, the team will be able to examine the relationship between vehicle, crash, roadway, and person-level factors and their association with injury outcomes. (Objective 1) The team will perform a literature scan of epidemiologic studies related to pedestrian and bicycle crash morbidity and mortality. Since CSCRS has already produced a comprehensive literature review on this subject, the review will be limited in scope and pertain directly to this specific study. The team will use this scan to identify additional predictors of injury outcomes (other than what they have already identified – see below) that they can investigate using the linked pedestrian/bicycle crash and emergency department visit data. In addition, the team will identify and describe enacted (or proposed) roadway and vehicle safety standards relevant to pedestrian and bicycle safety (e.g. Euro NCAP Vulnerable Road User Protection). (Objective 2) The team will characterize pedestrian and bicycle crash injuries for the population of North Carolina over a five-year period (October 1, 2010 – September 30, 2015). The team will describe demographic characteristics (age, sex, race/ethnicity), Barell injury diagnosis classifications (location and nature of injury), other select injury diagnoses of interest (traumatic brain injuries and hip fractures), number of injury diagnoses (indicative of more severe health outcomes), select comorbidities (Type II diabetes, cardiac disease, cancer, etc.), number of follow-up visits, expected source of payment (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, etc.) and discharge disposition (discharged from the ED, admitted, died, etc.) at the patient level.4,5 The team will also describe crash characteristics (time of day, time of year, light condition, weather condition, day of week, and estimated traveling speed/estimated speed at impact, urban/rural location of crash), roadway characteristics (number of lanes, lane configuration, posted speed limit), vehicular characteristics (age of vehicle, type of vehicle) and pedestrian/bicycle crash types.2,6,7 (Objective 3) The team will help mentor a UNC School of Medicine medical student (in collaboration with the UNC Department of Neurosurgery) on a pedestrian/bicycle crash project of the student’s choosing. This project will provide an in-depth examination of the clinical presentation and treatment of pedestrian and bicycle crash patients at a Level I Trauma Center. (Objective 4) The team will identify predictors (person-level factors, crash-level factors, roadway factors, vehicle factors) of injury severity among pedestrians and bicyclists (hospital admission/death, select injury outcomes). Predictors will be identified from the CSCRS Rapid Response, the literature scan (Objective 1), the results of the descriptive analysis (Objective 2), the clinical presentation of pedestrian/bicycle crash patients (Objective 3), and subject matter experts (UNC School of Medicine, Volkswagen Group, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). Due to time, data, and resource constraints, the team will not be able to investigate all identified predictors and hypothesized associations; however, they will document these hypotheses for future research (see below). (Objective 5) Develop research questions and hypotheses that can be expanded upon. It is an objective of this study to build the foundation for additional investigations of pedestrian and bicycle crash morbidity. As mentioned in Objective 4, the team anticipates that this limited-scope project will generate as many questions as it does answers; these questions will be documented and will form the basis for future research activities (beyond the scope of this funded study). These activities may include linking additional years of data, linking to other sources of health data (e.g. emergency medical services data), linking to other sources of covariate data, and partnering with other organizations to replicate results in other US locations (and abroad). (Objective 6) Inform a national audience of the importance of addressing pedestrian and bicyclist morbidity and mortality through a presentation of project results and implications for future research, intervention, and program and policy development.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $53007
  • 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 Highway Safety Research Center

    730 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard CB # 3430
    Chapel Hill, NC  United States  27599-3430
  • Principal Investigators:

    Harmon, Katherine

    Sandt, Laura

  • Start Date: 20190601
  • Expected Completion Date: 20211231
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01715881
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747113
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Mar 6 2017 2:24PM