Crash Analysis
Identification of High-Crash Locations
map of reported pedestrian crash data, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1994 to 1999

A first step in the problem-solving process of improving pedestrian safety and mobility is to identify locations or areas where pedestrian crash problems exist and where engineering, education, and enforcement measures will be most beneficial. Mapping the locations of reported pedestrian crashes in a neighborhood, campus, or city is a simple method of identifying sites for improving walking safety. One method of analyzing crash locations includes using computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, as shown by the density map of reported pedestrian crashes on a college campus pictured below.

This type of map can help transportation engineers and planners focus safety improvements on intersections, street sections, or neighborhoods where pedestrian crashes have occurred.

Several issues should be considered when creating GIS maps of reported crash locations. First, the total number of pedestrians and vehicles that use each location will affect reported crash density.

Second, pedestrian crashes may not be reported frequently enough to establish a pattern of unsafe walking locations. In either case, performing a conflict analysis, noting pedestrian and driver behavior or examining roadway and walkway characteristics at specific sites, or mapping locations known to have a high potential for pedestrian crashes in an area may improve the identification of unsafe locations for walking. Other methods for identifying locations with possible pedestrian problems include using walkability checklists and calculating a pedestrian level of service.


U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

Crash Analysis