How Ethnicity and Income Impacts Pedestrian Traffic Injury and Fatality Rates

Research Lead: David Ragland

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: Non-white populations in the United States, particularly Black, Hispanic, and Native American communities, experience substantially higher rates of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in traffic accidents, as do persons with lower incomes and those in poverty. There is an emerging literature documenting this issue, and exploring solutions. A range of approaches, including each of the four Es (enforcement, engineering, education, and emergency medical services) have been suggested. There are multiple issues with each of these approaches. Increased law enforcement, for example, may come with unintended consequences involving bias against minority populations. Engineering solutions such as infrastructure changes may be initiated without consultation with these populations.

Project Description: This project will conduct a thorough review of published articles documenting risk patterns for pedestrian injury for Black, Hispanic, and Native American populations, along with low-income communities. The review will summarize data sources, main findings, and limitations. The problem of potential under-reporting of accident statistics will be discussed and evaluated. Potential solutions to reduce pedestrian injury among these populations will also be reviewed. Many programs for enforcement, engineering, and education, have been implemented by federal, state, and local agencies. Various critiques of these programs have been made related to inclusiveness, outcome, and unintended consequences (e.g., adverse impacts of enforcement, gentrification, and displacement of populations). As part of this project, the researcher will consult with officials of local and state transportation agencies as well as community groups that have a stake in safety and mobility in their communities.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $24,910