Literature review of pedestrian fatality risk as a function of car impact speed

Accid Anal Prev. 2011 Jan;43(1):25-33. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2010.04.003. Epub 2010 Sep 15.


The aim of this review was to evaluate all studies of pedestrian fatality risk as a function of car impact speed. Relevant papers were primarily investigated with respect to data sampling procedures and methods for statistical analysis. It was uniformly reported that fatality risk increased monotonically with car impact speed. However, the absolute risk estimates varied considerably. Without exceptions, papers written before 2000 were based on direct analyses of data that had a large bias towards severe and fatal injuries. The consequence was to overestimate the fatality risks. We also found more recent research based on less biased data or adjusted for bias. While still showing a steep increase of risk with impact speed, these later papers provided substantially lower risk estimates than had been previously reported.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration*
  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Adult
  • Bias
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Risk
  • Walking / injuries*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*