While overall traffic fatalities are decreasing, the percentages of those fatalities among walking and cycling are increasing. For 2015, NHTSA estimates that compared with 2014, pedestrian fatalities increased by 10% and bicycle fatalities increased by 13%, and the two categories now account for more than 16% of all traffic fatalities. Most crash data sets have insufficient data for pedestrian and bicycle safety analysis at all severity levels. Research was needed beyond traditional data collection to provide practitioners with reliable pedestrian and bicycles crash estimates that can be used throughout the planning and project development process, and to measure performance.
The objective of this research was to develop pedestrian and bicycle safety performance functions (SPFs) using risk-based or predictive methods, for transportation practitioners at all levels to better inform planning, design, and operations decisions. The research team addressed a broad range of issues related to evaluating pedestrian and bicycle safety such as, but was not limited to, analyzing the barriers to collecting pedestrian and bicycle safety performance data and developing performance-based decisions in the United States (e.g., legal, privacy restrictions, liability, data ownership, missing data, data incompatibility).