Objective: Although intersections correspond to a small proportion of the entire roadway system, they account for a disproportionally high number of fatal pedestrian crashes, especially on rural roads situated in low- and middle-income countries. This article examines pedestrian safety at rural intersections and suggests applicable accident prevention treatments by providing an in-depth analysis of 28 fatal pedestrian crashes from 8 low-volume roads in southwest China.
Methods: The driving reliability and error analysis method (DREAM) is a method to support a systematic classification of accident causation information and to facilitate aggregation of that information into patterns of contributing factors. This is the first time that DREAM was used to analyze pedestrian-vehicle crashes and provide suggestions for road improvements in China.
Results: The key issues adversely affecting pedestrian safety can be organized in 4 distinctive thematic categories, namely, deficient intersection safety infrastructure, lack of pedestrian safety education, inadequate driver training, and insufficient traffic law enforcement. Given that resources for traffic safety investments in rural areas are limited, it is determined that the potential countermeasures should focus on low-cost, easily implementable, and long-lasting measures increasing the visibility and predictability of pedestrian movement and reducing speeding and irresponsible driving among drivers and risk-taking behaviors among pedestrians.
Conclusions: Accident prevention treatments are suggested based on their suitability for rural areas in southwest China. These countermeasures include introducing better access management and traffic calming treatments, providing more opportunities for pedestrian education, and enhancing the quality of driver training and traffic law enforcement.
Keywords: China and developing countries; DREAM; Pedestrian accidents; intersection crashes; rural low-volume roads.