Are there higher pedestrian fatalities in larger cities?: A scaling analysis of 115 to 161 largest cities in the United States

Yu Sang Chang, Won Jae Lee, Jae Hee Lee
2016 Figshare  
Objective: In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in the United States, representing 14% of total traffic fatalities. The number of pedestrians injured was higher at 76,000. Therefore, 36 out of 52 of the largest cities in the United States have adopted a citywide target of reducing pedestrian fatalities. The number of cities adopting the reduction goal during 2011 and 2012 increased rapidly with 8 more cities. We examined the scaling relationship of pedestrian fatality counts as a function of
more » ... s as a function of the population size of 115 to 161 large U.S. cities during the period of 1994 to 2011. We also examined the scaling relationship of nonpedestrian and total traffic fatality counts as a function of the population size. Methods: For the data source of fatality measures we used Traffic Safety Facts Fatality Analysis Reporting System/General Estimates System annual reports published each year from 1994 to 2011 by the NHTSA. Using the data source we conducted both annual cross-sectional and panel data bivariate and multivariate regression models. In the construction of the estimated functional relationship between traffic fatality measures and various factors, we used the simple power function for urban scaling used by Bettencourt et al. (2007, 2010) and the refined STIRPAT (stochastic impacts by regression on population, affluence, and technology) model used in Dietz and Rosa (1994, 1997) and York et al. (2003). Results: We found that the scaling relationship display diseconomies of scale or sublinear for pedestrian fatalities. However, the relationship displays a superlinear relationship in case of nonpedestrian fatalities. The scaling relationship for total traffic fatality counts display a nearly linear pattern. When the relationship was examined by the 4 subgroups of cities with different population sizes, the most pronounced sublinear scaling relationships for all 3 types of fatality counts was discovered for the subgroup of megacities with a population of more than 1 million. Conclusions: The s [...]
doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.3141757.v2 fatcat:6pnsl34rujfqberdclqoqeu62a