How does mode of travel affect risks posed to other road users? An analysis of English road fatality data, incorporating gender and road type.
BACKGROUND: Most analysis of road injuries examines the risk experienced by people using different modes of transport, for instance, pedestrian fatalities per-head or per-km. A small but growing field analyses the impact that the use of different transport modes has on other road users, for instance, injuries to others per-km driven. METHODS: This paper moves the analysis of risk posed to others forward by comparing six different vehicular modes, separating road types (major vs minor roads in urban vs rural settings). The comparison of risk posed by men and women for all these modes is also novel. RESULTS: Per-vehicle kilometre, buses and lorries pose much the highest risk to others, while cycles pose the lowest. Motorcycles pose a substantially higher per-km risk to others than cars. The fatality risk posed by cars or vans to ORUs per km is higher in rural areas. Risk posed is generally higher on major roads, although not in the case of lorries, suggesting a link to higher speeds. Men pose higher per-km risk to others than women for all modes except buses, as well as being over-represented among users of the most dangerous vehicles. CONCLUSIONS: Future research should examine more settings, adjust for spatial and temporal confounders, or examine how infrastructure or route characteristics affect risk posed to others. Although for most victims the other vehicle involved is a car, results suggest policy-makers should also seek to reduce disproportionate risks posed by the more dangerous vehicles, for instance, by discouraging motorcycling. Finally, given higher risk posed to others by men across five of six modes analysed, policy-makers should consider how to reduce persistent large gender imbalances in jobs involving driving.
Medical Research Council (MR/P02663X/1)
Medical Research Council (MR/P024408/1)
Wellcome Trust (087636/Z/08/Z)
Economic and Social Research Council (ES/G007462/1)