Pedestrian risk decrease with pedestrian flow. A case study based on data from signalized intersections in Hamilton, Ontario

Accid Anal Prev. 2002 Jul;34(4):457-64. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(01)00043-4.


A unique database provided information on pedestrian accidents, intersection geometry and estimates of pedestrian and vehicle flows for the years 1983-1986 for approximately 300 signalized intersections in Hamilton, Ont., Canada. Pedestrian safety at semi-protected schemes, where left-turning vehicles face no opposing traffic but have potential conflicts with pedestrians, were compared with pedestrian safety at normal non-channelized signalized approaches, where right-turning vehicles have potential conflicts with pedestrians. Four different ways of estimating hourly flows for left- and right-turning vehicles were explored. Hourly flows were estimated for periods of 15 min, hours, two periods a day (a.m. and p.m.) and the 'daily' period (7 h). Parameter estimates were somewhat affected by the time period used for flow estimation. However, parameter estimates seem to be affected far more by the traffic pattern (left- or right-turning traffic), even though approaches were selected such that the situation for left- and right-turning turning traffic was similar (no opposing traffic, no advanced green or other separate phases and no channelization). Left-turning vehicles caused higher risks for pedestrians than right-turning vehicles. At low vehicular flows right turns and semi-protected left turns seemed to be equally safe for pedestrians. When risks for pedestrians were calculated as the expected number of reported pedestrian accidents per pedestrian, risk decreased with increasing pedestrian flows and increased with increasing vehicle flow. As risk decreases with increasing pedestrian flows, promoting walking will have a positive effect on pedestrian risk at signalized intersections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Environment Design*
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Ontario
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety*
  • Walking