Traffic safety impacts community health, and not just in injuries caused by motor vehicles.
A dangerous road limits how comfortable pededstrians feel on the street. When residents are less willing to walk in the neighborhood, they get less exercise. And less foot traffic is tough on local businesses, too.
A study in the American Journal of Public Health has found that pedestrians in low-income communities were six times more likely to be injured by a moving vehicle than those from high-income communities.
Writing about the study, which looked at five years of road injuries in Montreal, the website dc.streetsblog.org, noted: “Motorists and cyclists in low-income neighborhoods didn’t fare much better. These drivers were 4.3 times more likely to be injured. For cyclists the ratio was 3.9 to 1.”
The biggest factor, according to the researchers, was exposure to traffic due to road design. Low-income neighborhoods were more likely to have major roads and four-way intersections. Higher traffic volume was also noted as a factor.
If you’re working in a community with busy roads and dangerous intersections, you may want to consider traffic calming techniques, better signage or other options for making your streets safer. When people are willing to go for a walk in the neighborhood, all sorts of good things happen.
h/t Atlantic Cities
Posted in Healthy Residents, Thinking Out Loud