Research Papers

CHILD PEDESTRIAN COLLISIONS, WALKING TO SCHOOL AND THE BUILT ENVRIONMENT: A CASE CONTROL STUDY

Version 1
Date added June 29, 2016
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Category 2016 CARSP XXVI Halifax
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 1B
Author/Auteur Linda Rothman
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation

Slidedeck Presentation Only (no paper submitted)

1B - Rothman

Abstract

Background/Context: Canadian children have become less physically active over the last 50 years. Up to 50% of children in Ontario never walk to school, and the risk of traffic injury has been identified by parents as the main safety concern associated with walking. Walking to school increases daily physical activity; however, the risk of injury must also be balanced against any increased risk of child pedestrian injuries

Aims/Objectives: To examine environmental and social risk factors associated with schools having high child pedestrian motor vehicle collision (PMVC) rates.

Methods/Target Group: Child (age 4-12 years) PMVCs from 2000-2013 were mapped within elementary school attendance boundaries in Toronto, Canada. Case and control schools were defined as those within the highest and lowest quartiles for PMVC rates, respectively. Potential risk factors were obtained from municipal data sources and included built environment variables related to population density, land-use diversity and roadway design, and data on social correlates including: school social disadvantage and area income status. Direct observational counts were also conducted in the spring, 2015, to measure the proportion of children walking to school. Logistic regression was used to compare potential risk factors between case and control schools, stratified by geographic location (downtown vs. inner suburbs).

Results/Activities: The mean PMVC rate in case schools (n=50) was 13.4/10,000/year and in controls (n=50) was 1.75/10,000/year. Walking was not associated with high PMVC rates after adjusting for the built environment and school social disadvantage. Lower residential (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.37, 0.86) and higher one-way street densities (OR 4.00, 95% CI 1.76, 9.08), presence of school crossing guards (OR 3.65, 95% CI 1.10, 12.20) and higher social disadvantage (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.11, 1.70) were associated with high PMVC schools. Similar results were found for inner suburban high PMVC schools; however, there was a stronger association with school social disadvantage for downtown schools.

Discussion/Deliverables: Walking to school was unrelated to high PMVC rates after controlling for the built environment. Residential density and roadway design built environment features were associated with higher PMVC rates around schools. School social disadvantage was also associated with higher PMVC rates with potential differences by geographic location.

Conclusions: Built environment density, roadway design features and school social disadvantage were associated with higher PMVC rates around schools. More walking was however, not associated with higher PMVC rates.

Linda Rothman