Effects of Built Environment and Land Use Factors on Child Pedestrian Crashes in Santiago, Chile

Traffic accidents are a major concern for the vast majority of government authorities worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), traffic accidents will become the fifth main cause of death by the year 2030. In Chile, five casualties occur daily as a consequence of traffic accidents, and the associated cost is equivalent to 1.5% of the nation’s GDP. Approximately, 500,000 traffic accidents were reported between 2000 and 2008, 17% of whom represented pedestrian crashes. Nearly 9% of these crashes affected children between 5 and 18 years of age in the Metropolitan Region of Chile. The child pedestrian’s responsibility is the main contributing factor of these crashes by disobeying traffic sign laws or violating crosswalk locations. Our objective is to identify the high child pedestrian crash risk zones in Santiago, Chile by performing a spatial and temporal analysis in a GIS environment, and to understand the effects of built environment and land use characteristics on these risk zones by employing a regression model. As a result, potential child pedestrian crashes and their consequences may be prevented if the appropriate allocation of resources for safety enhancements and decisions are made.

PARTNERS: Carola Blazquez, Associate Professor, Engineering Science, Universidad Andres Bello (UNAB), Santiago; Chris Zegras, DUSP

SUPPORT: MIT-Chile Seed Fund