Accident involvement and exposure to risk for children as pedestrians on urban roads
A detailed literature review reveals the need for further study of several aspects of road accidents to child pedestrians in urban areas. Some of these aspects are explored using data for selected residential parts of five urban areas in Britain. Road accidents in the five study areas are examined using Local Authority accident data, police accident reports, local knowledge, and data from the 1981 census of population. Variations in occurrence of these accidents are analysed using variables such as age and sex of the child, type of location, distance from home, severity, and time of occurrence. Collection and analysis of data concerning exposure on journeys to and from school and during some other uses of the roads are described. Data on journeys to or from school was collected by questionnaire from most of the schools in each of the study areas. Analysis examines several features of exposure including mode of travel, accompaniment, time spent outside, distance travelled, and the number of roads crossed. These features are analysed for different groups of people, at different times, and in different sorts of area. Where possible results are related to accidents to produce measures of risk. Data on journeys other than those to and from school, with particular emphasis on play, was collected in two of the study areas by direct observation of children on the streets. These observations were carried out to a preset schedule, using routes predefined on the basis of accident and other local information. Analysis examines the variety of children using the roads in different areas and time periods. Where possible, accident data and traffic flow information are related to the results to produce measures of accident risk. Suggestions for preventative measures, and for additional research, both within these study areas and more widely, are given.