Comparative analysis of pedestrian injuries using police, emergency department, and death certificate data sources in north carolina, u.S., 2007–2012

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Pedestrian safety programs are needed to address the rising incidence of pedestrian fatalities. Unfortunately, most communities lack comprehensive information on the circumstances of pedestrian crashes and resulting injuries that could help guide decision-making for prevention program development and implementation. This study aimed to evaluate how three commonly available data sources (police-reported pedestrian crashes, emergency department [ED] visits, and death certificates) define and capture pedestrian injury data, and to compare the distribution of pedestrian injuries and fatalities across these data sources. Existing state-wide data sources in North Carolina, U.S.A.,—police-reported pedestrian crashes, ED visits, and death certificates—were used to perform a descriptive analysis of temporal and demographic pedestrian injury severity distributions for a 6-year period (2007–2012). After excluding non-relevant cases, there were 12,646 police-reported pedestrian crashes, 17,369 pedestrian-injury-related ED visits, and 993 pedestrian-related death certificate cases. Pedestrian injury distributions appeared similar across the three data sets in relation to pedestrian sex, age, and temporality. Police data (which represented crashes rather than all pedestrians involved in a crash) likely underrepresented pedestrian injury incidence, while ED data (which represented ED visits, with multiple visits per person possible) likely overrepresented pedestrian injury incidence. The study provides a better understanding of the discrepancies between pedestrian injury data sources and key considerations when using police, ED, and death certificate data for surveillance or injury prevention efforts.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sandt, LS; Proescholdbell, SK; Evenson, KR; Robinson, WR; Rodrıguez, DA; Harmon, KJ; Marshall, SW

Published Date

  • July 3, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2674 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 687 - 700

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2169-4052

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0361-1981

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0361198120931504

Citation Source

  • Scopus