Safety-in-numbers: Estimates based on a sample of pedestrian crossings in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAccident Analysis and Prevention. 2016, 91 (June), 175-182. 10.1016/j.aap.2016.03.005
Safety-in-numbers denotes the tendency for the risk of accident for each road user to decline as the number of road users increases. Safety-in-numbers implies that a doubling of the number of road users will be associated with less than a doubling of the number of accidents. This paper investigates safety-in-numbers in 239 pedestrian crossings in Oslo and its suburbs. Accident prediction models were fitted by means of negative binomial regression. The models indicate a very strong safety-in-numbers effect. In the final model, the coefficients for traffic volume were 0.05 for motor vehicles, 0.07 for pedestrians and 0.12 for cyclists. The coefficient for motor vehicles implies that the number of accidents is almost independent of the number of motor vehicles. The safety-in-numbers effect found in this paper is stronger than reported in any other study dealing with safety-in-numbers. It should be noted that the model explained only 21% of the systematic variation in the number of accidents. It therefore cannot be ruled out that the results are influenced by omitted variable bias. Any such bias would, however, have to be very large to eliminate the safety-in-numbers effect.