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TOPIC VI: BIKING & WALKING ROAD SAFETY

The United States ranks worse than many comparable nations in traffic safety. According to a 2010 special report by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), “In recent decades nearly every high-income country has made more rapid progress than has the United States in reducing the frequency of road traffic deaths and the rate of deaths per [mile] of vehicle travel.” 41 According to a 2017 report by Ralph Buehler and John Pucher, between 1990-1994 and 2010-2014, the United States made  the least progress of 11 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in reducing pedestrian and bicyclist fatality rates per capita. 42  

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, more bicyclists died than in any year since 1991 and more pedestrians died than in any year since 1990. You can find more information about traffic safety in Chapter III: Make Your Case: Section II: Safe Transportation.

Nationally, the percentage of fatalities composed of bicyclists and pedestrians increased 2.7 percentage points to 15.1% based on 5-year averages from 2007-2011 and 2012-2016. States have very different experiences with bicyclist and pedestrian safety. In some states, like New Jersey, bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities make up more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities. In others, like Wyoming, bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities make up less than 10% of all traffic fatalities.

The demographics of who is killed while bicycling and walking can be difficult to interpret because data on demographics about who is bicycling and walking is limited at the state level. For this reason, it is difficult to interpret whether the under-representation of people who are under age 18, age 65 or older, or people of color among bicyclist fatalities is due to circumstances that affect the safety of those groups or the prevalence for bicycling among those groups. Differences in the over- or under-representation of these demographic groups are more common for bicycling fatalities than pedestrian fatalities.

Pedestrian Fatalities: Total & Per Commuter

FIGURE 2.6.1 – PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES: TOTAL & PER COMMUTER

Footnote 43

Pedestrian Fatalities: As a Percent of All Traffic Fatalities & Per Capita

FIGURE 2.6.2 – PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES: AS A PERCENT OF ALL TRAFFIC FATALITIES & PER CAPITA

Legend: Green = 10 lowest values; Red = 10 highest values

Footnote 44

Bicyclist Fatalities: Total & Per Commuter

FIGURE 2.6.3 – BICYCLIST FATALITIES: TOTAL & PER COMMUTER

Footnote 45

Note regarding Figure 2.6.3: Some states with high percentage changes have infrequent bicyclist fatalities. For example, between 2005 and 2016, Vermont had one or more bicyclist fatalities in only three years.

Bicyclist Fatalities: As a Percent of All Traffic Fatalities & Per Capita

FIGURE 2.6.4 – BICYCLIST FATALITIES: AS A PERCENT OF ALL TRAFFIC FATALITIES & PER CAPITA

Legend: Green = 10 lowest values; Red = 10 highest values

Footnote 46

Pedestrian Fatalities: Youth, Seniors, & People of Color

FIGURE 2.6.5 – PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES: YOUTH, SENIORS, & PEOPLE OF COLOR (NOT WHITE ALONE, NON-HISPANIC)

Legend: Green = 10 lowest values; Red = 10 highest values

Footnotes 47 48 49

The demographics of who is killed while bicycling and walking can be difficult to interpret because data on demographics about who is bicycling and walking is limited at the state level. For this reason, it is difficult to interpret whether the over- or under-representation of people who are under age 18, age 65 or older, or people of color among walking fatalities is due to circumstances that affect the safety of those groups or the prevalence for walking among those groups in each state.

Bicyclist Fatalities: Youth, Seniors, & People of Color

FIGURE 2.6.6 – BICYCLIST FATALITIES: YOUTH, SENIORS, & PEOPLE OF COLOR (NOT WHITE ALONE, NON-HISPANIC)

Footnotes 50 51 52

The demographics of who is killed while bicycling and walking can be difficult to interpret because data on demographics about who is bicycling and walking is limited at the state level. For this reason, it is difficult to interpret whether the over- or under-representation of people who are under age 18, age 65 or older, or people of color among bicyclist fatalities is due to circumstances that affect the safety of those groups or the prevalence for bicycling among those groups in each state. Differences in the over- or under-representation of these demographic groups are more common for bicycling fatalities than pedestrian fatalities.

41

Transportation Research Board. Achieving Traffic Safety Goals in the United States: Lessons from Other Nations (2011) in preface. Available at http:// onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/sr/sr300.pdf.

42

Ralph Buehler and John Pucher. American Journal of Public Health (February 2017, Vol 107, No. 2). Trends in Walking and Cycling Safety: Recent Evidence From High-Income Countries, With a Focus on the United States and Germany see Figures 1 and 2 at p. 283. Available at https://ajph.aphapublica- tions.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303546.

43

U. S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table B08006 1-year estimates (2007-2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/ jsf/pages/index.xhtml. And National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Persons Killed, by STATE and Person Type – State: USA, Year (2007-2016). Available at https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/States/StatesCrashesAndAllVictims.aspx.

44

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Persons Killed, by STATE and Person Type – State: USA, Year (2007-2016). Available at https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/States/StatesCrashesAndAllVictims.aspx. and U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table B01003 5-year estimate (2012-2016). Available at https://factfinder. census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

45

U. S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table B08006 1-year estimates (2007-2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/ jsf/pages/index.xhtml. And National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Persons Killed, by STATE and Person Type – State: USA, Year (2007-2016). Available at https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/States/StatesCrashesAndAllVictims.aspx.

46

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Persons Killed, by STATE and Person Type – State: USA, Year (2007-2016). Available at https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/States/StatesCrashesAndAllVictims.aspx. and U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table B01003 5-year estimate (2012-2016). Available at https://factfinder. census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

47

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Query of Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database for Person Type and Race (2012- 2016). Available at https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov//QueryTool/QuerySection/SelectYear.aspx. U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table S0901 5-year estimate (2012-2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

48

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Query of Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database for Person Type and Race (2012- 2016). Available at https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov//QueryTool/QuerySection/SelectYear.aspx. U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table S0103 5-year estimate (2012-2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

49

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Query of Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database for Person Type and Race (2012- 2016). Available at https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov//QueryTool/QuerySection/SelectYear.aspx. U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table B03002 5-year estimate (2012-2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

50

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Query of Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database for Person Type and Race (2012- 2016). Available at https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov//QueryTool/QuerySection/SelectYear.aspx. U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table S0901 5-year estimate (2012-2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

51

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Query of Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database for Person Type and Race (2012- 2016). Available at https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov//QueryTool/QuerySection/SelectYear.aspx. U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table S0103 5-year estimate (2012-2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

52

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Query of Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database for Person Type and Race (2012- 2016). Available at https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov//QueryTool/QuerySection/SelectYear.aspx. U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table B03002 5-year estimate (2012-2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.