Characterization of pedestrian accidents and an examination of infrastructure measures to improve pedestrian safety in Israel.

Authors:
Victoria Gitelman
Victoria Gitelman
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Doron Balasha
Doron Balasha
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Israel
Limor Hendel
Limor Hendel
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Israel

Accid Anal Prev 2012 Jan 21;44(1):63-73. Epub 2010 Dec 21.

Ran Naor Road Safety Research Center, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Technion City, Haifa 32000, Israel.

The high share of pedestrian fatalities in Israel provided the impetus for this study which looked for infrastructure solutions to improve pedestrian safety. First, a detailed analysis of pedestrian accidents in 2006-2007, with an emphasis on the infrastructure characteristics involved, was performed; it found that 75% of the fatalities and 95% of the injuries occurred in urban areas, the majority of cases occurring on road sections (not at junctions). About 80% of the accidents took place when a pedestrian crossed the road, the majority of them at non-crosswalk locations or at non-signalized crosswalks. International comparisons showed that the characteristics of fatal pedestrian accidents in Israel were similar to the average pedestrian accident in Europe in terms of accident location, time, and the demographic characteristics of the victims. A typology of pedestrian fatalities in Israel was built for the years 2003-2006; it demonstrated a high share of accidents at these locations: in Jewish or mixed-population towns-not at pedestrian crossings on urban street sections, and both at pedestrian crossings and not at pedestrian crossings at urban junctions; in Arab towns; and on dual-carriageway rural roads. Second, based on a literature study, a summary of about 60 pedestrian-safety-related measures was developed. Third, to diagnose the infrastructure characteristics and deficiencies associated with pedestrian accidents, detailed field studies were carried out at 95 urban locations. A major finding revealed that more than 80% of the sites with a high concentration of pedestrian-vehicle accidents in Israel were situated on arterial multi-lane streets belonging to city centers, where on a micro-level there were no indications of major deficiencies in the basic design elements of most sites. Finally, cross-checking of the safety problems identified and the infrastructure solutions available provided lists of measures recommended for application at various types of sites. It was concluded that in order to generate a significant change in the state of pedestrian injury in Israel, a move from spot treatment to a systemic treatment of the problem is required. A systemic inquiry and the transformation of the urban road network should be performed in order to diminish the areas of vehicle-pedestrian conflicts and to significantly reduce vehicle speeds in areas of pedestrian presence and activity.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2010.11.017DOI Listing

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January 2012
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