Systemic Opportunities to Improve Older Pedestrian Safety


Systemic Opportunities to Improve Older Pedestrian Safety


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This presentation provides a framework for improving older pedestrian safety in regard to serious (fatal and incapacitating) crashes, using Oregon as a case study. Upon review of state and federal practices pertaining to older pedestrian safety, four years of crash data identified 112 older (≥ 65 years) pedestrian serious injury crashes. These data were explored for factors that might be addressed systemically using two methods. First, raw frequencies in the crash data were assessed to determine trends and crash-related factors that are over represented. Second, a random forest analysis is conducted to determine important variables for predicting older pedestrian serious injury crashes. Using these crash-related factors, a workshop was held with 18 local stakeholders and experts. As part of the workshop, key crash trends, potential causations, and potential countermeasures by priority of implementation were determined based on perspectives from workshop participants. Three key systemic solutions were identified to improve older pedestrian safety, including improving pedestrian visibility and illumination, implementing treatments for left-turns, and shortening pedestrian crossing distances across the state. The framework presented in the current study can be adopted by other agencies to systemically address a wide variety of safety concerns.

This research was presented at the 2022 annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), in the "Translating Safety Research to Real-World Solutions" session.

Biographical Information

Jason Anderson, Research Associate and Adjunct Professor, Portland State University

Dr. Anderson’s expertise is in data analytics, particularly advanced statistical and econometric methods, with an emphasis on transportation safety, transportation economics, travel behavior, transportation mobility, big data, and policy-related applications (impacts of policy changes on transportation safety). His work on policy-related applications has led Oregon to develop and maintain a Safety Action Plan aimed at reducing truck driver-at-fault crashes on state highways. Although much of Dr. Anderson’s work has been focused on freight transportation, he has worked on several projects that focus on various transportation modes, including passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles. Dr. Anderson’s research on transportation safety has helped advance fundamental knowledge on various factors that influence the risk and severity of freight transportation-related crashes, and the impacts of speed limit regulatory changes on driver behavior and safety. Recently, Dr. Anderson has begun fusing these statistical and econometric methods with machine learning approaches to study transportation safety and travel behavior. Dr. Anderson focuses on innovative strategies to generate multidisciplinary solutions to technology-driven questions related to transportation engineering. Dr. Anderson is also an avid sports fan who does not miss a Sacramento Kings game or a NASCAR race.

Sirisha Kothuri, Senior Research Associate, Portland State University

Dr. Kothuri’s primary research interests are in the areas of multimodal traffic operations, bicycle and pedestrian counting, and safety. Dr. Kothuri is the research co-chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Pedestrians Committee (ANF10) and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Data Subcommittee (ABJ 35(3)) and a member of Traffic Signal Systems committee. Dr. Kothuri received her BCE from Osmania University, India, MSCE from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge and Ph.D. from Portland State University.



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Systemic Opportunities to Improve Older Pedestrian Safety