Exploring spatial patterns of pedestrian injury by age and severity in Toronto, Canada

Author(s): Emily Grisé, Ron Buliung, Linda Rothman, Andrew Howard

Slidedeck Presentation:

6A - Grise


Background: The City of Toronto, Canada experienced a ten-year high in pedestrian fatalities last year and currently has the highest pedestrian collision rate of all Canadian cities. Walking is one of the most accessible forms of physical activity for all ages. Promoting increased walking for transport may carry forward into reduced air pollution, noise and traffic congestion. However, an increase in walking, if planned poorly, could lead to increased injury rates. Understanding the geography of pedestrian injury is an important part of developing evidence to inform policy and planning intended to increase walking while reducing the risk of pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions (PMVCs).

Aims: Spatial patterns of pedestrian injury in Toronto are studied with a focus on age-specific differences in the geography of PMVCs and injury type.

Methods: Indirect age-standardized rates are used to explore geographical variation in PMVCs and injuries by age (seniors and children) and severity. Age-group differences in the geography of injury are expected given age-related differences in activity patterns and physical and cognitive capacities. The study focuses on weekday pedestrian injury events, as a result of expected differences between weekday and weekend activity patterns.

Results: The results indicate geographical variation in PMVCs and injuries by type and age. Fatal and major injury events appear to be more concentrated toward and within Toronto’s inner suburbs, particularly for children and seniors.

Discussion & Conclusions: The findings suggest that there should be additional attention, on the policy and planning front, to pedestrian safety in Toronto’s inner suburban neighbourhoods. Intervention planning and implementation should acknowledge spatial and temporal differences in pedestrian-vehicle collisions by age and severity.