Crash Analysis
Pedestrian Crash Typing

The development of effective roadway design and operation, education, and enforcement measures to accommodate pedestrians and prevent crashes is hindered by insufficient detail in computerized state and local crash files. Analysis of these databases can provide information on where pedestrian crashes occur (city, street, intersection, two-lane road, etc.), when they occur (time of day, day of week, etc.), and characteristics of the victims involved (age, gender, injury severity, etc.). Current crash files cannot provide a sufficient level of detail regarding the sequence of events leading to the crash.

In the 1970s, methods for typing pedestrian and bicycle crashes were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to better define the sequence of events and precipitating actions leading to pedestrian/motor vehicle crashes.1,2,3,4 These methodologies were applied by Hunter in a 1996 study to more than 8,000 pedestrian and bicycle crashes from 6 states.1,2,3,4 The results provided a representative summary of the distribution of crash types experienced by pedestrians and bicyclists. Some of the most frequently occurring types, include dart-out first half (i.e., the pedestrian is struck in the first half of the street being crossed) (24 percent), intersection dash (13 percent), dart-out second half (10 percent), midblock dart (8 percent), and turning- vehicle crashes (5 percent).1,2,3,4

The crash-typing methodology described above has evolved over time and has been refined as part of a software package known as the Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT).5 The development of PBCAT was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and NHTSA through the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. Those interested may register for the PBCAT software and user’s manual from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center website at:

PBCAT is a software product intended to assist state and local pedestrian and bicycle coordinators, planners, and engineers with the problem of lack of data regarding the sequence of events leading to a crash. PBCAT accomplishes this goal through the development and analysis of a database containing details associated with crashes between motor vehicles and pedestrians or bicyclists. One of these details is the crash type, which describes the pre-crash actions of the parties involved. The more than 60 specific pedestrian crash types used in PBCAT can be collapsed into 12 crash typing groups for purposes of selecting treatments.


U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

Crash Analysis