The "unintended pedestriań on expressways

Gregory R. Istre, Mary McCoy, Martha Stowe, Jeffrey J. Barnard, Billy J. Moore, Ron J. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective. To explore the epidemiology of pedestrian deaths in Dallas County, Texas, and to compare factors associated with pedestrian deaths on expressways versus those that occurred on other roadways. Methods. We studied all pedestrian deaths among persons 15 years of age or older in Dallas County, Texas, from 1997 to 2004 by linking data from Medical Examiner's office, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, and local police records. Univariate and multivariate analysis compared various factors associated with death on an expressway. Results. Among 437 pedestrian deaths who were 15 years of age or older, 197 (45%) occurred on expressways; the proportion that occurred on expressways was highest among 15- to 29-year-olds (65%) and was lower with advancing age group (p 0.01, chi square for trend). At least 36% of these expressway-related pedestrian deaths were known to have been "unintended pedestrians," who had exited a vehicle after being on the roadway, compared with 11% of pedestrian deaths on surface streets (OR 4.6, 95% CI, 2.7-8.1), and this was also highest among younger age groups. Pedestrian deaths on an expressway, compared with deaths on surface streets, remained strongly associated with having been an "unintended pedestrian" (OR 6.2, 95% CI, 3.1-14.0), after controlling for several other variables, including age, sex, race, nighttime of crash, and alcohol involvement. Conclusions. Expressways are the predominant site of fatal pedestrian crashes among young adults in this urban area. Since many of these deaths were "unintended pedestrians," procedures for management of occupants of disabled vehicles on expressways could have a large impact on pedestrian deaths in young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-402
Number of pages5
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007


  • Epidemiology
  • Expressway
  • Freeway
  • Injury
  • Pedestrian
  • Prevention
  • Trauma
  • Unintended

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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