Social inequalities in child pedestrian traffic injuries: Differences in neighborhood built environments near schools in Austin, TX, USA

Jinuk Hwang, Kenneth Joh, Ayoung Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

There have been many efforts to enhance pedestrian safety for children because school-aged children are one of the most vulnerable groups to traffic injury. However, we have limited understanding as to how the built environment affects child pedestrian safety around schools. Further, most previous studies have overlooked the fact that the built environment that support child pedestrian safety may vary across neighborhood heterogeneity. This study addresses these gaps by examining the impacts of the built environments on child pedestrian crashes around schools in Austin, Texas, USA. We use the binary logistic regression model with Firth's penalized likelihood method to estimate the impacts of built environments on child pedestrian crashes at the street segment level. This study finds that longer block lengths, missing sidewalks, crosswalk density, and commercial land uses around schools may hinder child pedestrian safety. Moreover, we find that socioeconomically disadvantaged children may have little to no protection against the risk of pedestrian crashes, especially due to lack of sidewalks and well-designed crosswalks. Our results may help planners, policymakers, and public health professionals better understand how to enhance child pedestrian safety around schools by improving surrounding built environments based on different neighborhood characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Transport and Health
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017 Sep

Keywords

  • Built environment
  • Child pedestrian safety
  • Firth's penalized likelihood method
  • Neighborhood heterogeneity
  • Street segment

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