Research Papers

A Pilot Study on Child Pedestrian and Cyclist Motor Vehicle Collisions

Filename Le.pdf
Filesize 2 MB
Version 1
Date added June 6, 2010
Downloaded 1 time/fois
Category 2010 CMRSC XX Niagara
Tags Session 5B, Student Paper Award Winner
Author/Auteur Vu (Brian) Le
Award/Prix Étudiant 3 Student


Purpose: In Canada, motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are the leading cause of injury and death in children over 1 year old. Child pedestrian injuries comprise nearly 15% of all injury-related deaths in Canadians under 14. Furthermore, in 2008 in Toronto alone, there were 142 collisions of child cyclists under 15 with motor vehicles. Understanding the mechanisms of these crashes is essential to improve the treatment of the resulting injuries and countermeasures for prevention of future events. The children’s Traffic and Road Injury Prevention team is a pilot initiative to study MVCs involving child pedestrians and cyclists. The purpose of this study is to develop methodology to investigate child pedestrian and cyclist versus motor vehicle collisions and to report on their injury biomechanics and potential countermeasures. Although MVC studies investigating occupants and their injuries are well-established, collisions involving child pedestrians and cyclists have not been reconstructed in this manner. Methods: Three child pedestrian and one child cyclist versus motor vehicle crashes were studied. Crash scene investigations were performed by a collision investigator in collaboration with the Toronto Police Traffic Services Division to reconstruct the crash events. Medical trauma data collection was done via the child’s medical charts at the Hospital for Sick Children. The feasibility of studying and reconstructing child pedestrian and cyclist versus motor vehicle crashes will be examined. Countermeasures based on the information gleaned from the data obtained will be proposed. Results: The four crashes were reconstructed and along with injury profile data, mechanisms of injury were determined. The first case involved a motor vehicle striking an adult pedestrian with a 5 year-old child carried in his arms at a controlled intersection while making a crossing without right-of-way. The second MVC involved a 7 year-old cyclist struck on the road in a residential area at a blind uncontrolled bend without sidewalks. The third incident occurred at a temporary bus stop where a child in a stroller was pushed into oncoming traffic mid-block. In the final case, a child was struck by a van at a controlled intersection while crossing without right-of-way in the presence of a group of peers. From these reconstructions, countermeasures were successfully proposed to reflect the contributory factors to each incident. Conclusions: Countermeasures for these incidents primarily revolve around modifications to the built environment but also include social factors. Modifying the placement of stopped vehicles at a red light may change the outcome of the first case. Careful planning of sidewalk placement and traffic control signals, and examination of visibility issues at road bends may have prevented the second. Planning the placement of temporary bus stops and designing traffic control measures around this may have avoided the third case. Finally, addressing the social issues behind inappropriate road use by pedestrians and cyclists at the community or population level may be of benefit to all cases presented here. In conclusion, investigations of child pedestrian and cyclist versus motor vehicle collisions can provide useful insights regarding injury profiles and countermeasures for child pedestrians and cyclists involved in MVCs.

Vu (Brian) Le