Motor Vehicle Collisions

The HCI Motor Vehicle Collisions indicator captures the annual number of injuries and fatalities, regardless of transportation mode, on public roadways and rights of way per 1000 people. Motor vehicle injuries and fatalities are direct measures of adverse health outcomes (i.e., death and injury) as well as indirect measures. Because the risk of fatal injury is higher for walking and bicycling than for driving or taking public transportation, there is often a negative perception connected to walkability and safety, i.e., walking and biking are unsafe modes of transportation. This may curtail active modes of transportation (i.e., those that require individual physical activity) associated with longer life, improved mental health, and cancer prevention. In addition to Health Systems and Public Safety, motor vehicle collision is tied to transportation. Data on motor vehicle crashes is available from most local law enforcement officials through police accident reports (PAR) or via the NHTSA Fatal Injury Record System (FARS), a publicly accessible data set of local data on crashes that involve fatalities.

Neighborhoodsort descending Indicator Value Rank
Blackstone 9.5 1
Charles 33.6 13
College Hill 30.3 12
Downtown 180.1 25
Elmhurst 17 3
Elmwood 34.9 15
Federal Hill 52.8 18
Fox Point 48.5 17
Hartford 22.4 7
Hope 34.4 14
Lower South Providence 67.8 22
Manton 17.3 4
Mount Hope 73.8 23
Mount Pleasant 15.4 2
Olneyville 58.3 20
Reservoir 22.6 9
Silver Lake 21.7 6
Smith Hill 99.3 24
South Elmwood 35.5 16
Upper South Providence 63.7 21
Valley 54.1 19
Wanskuck 19.5 5
Washington Park 22.5 8
Wayland 27 10
West End 27.5 11

Key Citation:
1. NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2010
2. Ewing R, Dumbaugh E. 2009. The Built Environment and Traffic Safety: A Review of Empirical Evidence. Journal of Planning Literature 23: 347-367
3. Richards, D.C., 2010. Relationship between Speed and Risk of Fatal Injury: Pedestrians and Car Occupants. Transportation Research Laboratory. Road Safety Web Publication No. 16. Department for Transport: London, UK.
4. Pucher J. Dijkstra L. Promoting Safe Walking and Cycling to Improve Public Health: Lessons from the Netherlands and Germany," American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 93, No. 9, September 2003.
5. Retting RA, Ferguson SA, McCArtt AT. A Review of Evidence-Based Traffic Engineering Measures Designed to Reduce Pedestrian–Motor Vehicle Crashes. Am J Public Health. 2003 September; 93(9): 1456–1463.
Overlap with other domains: Transportation, Social Cohesion, and Economic Health
Stretch versions: An enhanced measure for traffic injuries could involve weighting traffic injuries based on mode of travel. Weights could be assigned based on local priorities, the health and environmental externalities of each mode (lower externalities = higher weight), or based on user vulnerability (higher weights for pedestrian modes).