Turning at intersections and pedestrian injuries

Bahman Sayyar Roudsari, Robert Kaufman, Thomas Koepsell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective. To evaluate if precrash vehicle movement is associated with the severity of pedestrian injury. Methods. We used comprehensive information on pedestrian, vehicle, and injury-related characteristics gathered in the Pedestrian Crash Data Study (PCDS), conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (1994-1998). The odds ratio of severe injuries (injury severity score ≥ 15) and crash fatality rate for right- and left-turn collisions at intersection compared with straight vehicle movement were compared using a logistic regression model and taking into consideration the type of vehicle and age of the pedestrians as potential effect modifiers. Later we evaluated the intermediate effect of impact speed on the association by adding it to the logistic regression model. Results. Of 255 collisions eligible for this analysis, the proportion of pedestrian hit during straight movement, right turns, and left turns were 48%, 32%, and 10%, respectively. Sixty percent of the pedestrians in left-turn crashes and 67% of them in right-turn collisions were hit from their left side. For straight movements the pedestrians were equally likely to be struck beginning from the left or right side of the street. After adjustment for pedestrian's age, vehicle movement was a significant predictor of severe injuries (p < 0.0001) and case fatality (p = 0.003). The association between vehicle precrash movement and severe injuries (p = 0.551) and case fatality (p = 0.912) vanished after adjusting for impact speed. This indicated that the observed association was probably the result of the difference in impact speed and not the precrash movement of the vehicle. Conclusion. Pedestrian safety interventions that aim at environmental modifications, such as crosswalk repositioning, might be the most efficient means in reducing right- or left-turn collisions at intersection, while pedestrians' behavioral modifications should be the priority for alleviating the magnitude of the collisions that happen in vehicles' straight movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-289
Number of pages7
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Crosswalk
  • Environmental Modification
  • Intersection
  • Left Turn
  • Pedestrian Injury
  • Right Turn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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