Source Document: SEATTLE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (PDF)
Safety is the top priority at the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and pedestrian and bicyclist safety is of particular importance. In an effort to provide comprehensive and informative data on pedestrian and bicycle collisions, SDOT has produced this report summarizing collisions in the city of Seattle in 2007.
This report is intended to provide only data about collisions and does not attempt to identify solutions. The information will be provided to SDOT engineers, policy makers, and citizens to help increase awareness of recent trends and to inform decision-making related to pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
The data for this report come primarily from Washington State Police Traffic Collision Reports produced by the Seattle Police Department (SPD). Data from Vehicle Collision Reports submitted by citizens are also included in cases where SPD did not produce a report.
These reports reflect collisions on city-owned right-of-way (ROW) involving pedestrians and bicyclists. The information is processed by the Washington State Department of Transportation and transmitted to the city of Seattle’s Collision Records System, which is owned and maintained by SDOT.
This report was produced by the Traffic Data and Records unit in SDOT’s Traffic Management Division. For additional information, contact (206) 684-5099.
- In 2007, the number of pedestrian and bicycle collisions were lower than 2006, but were above the five- year averages. Fatalities were also lower in 2006 and below the five-year averages.
- Pedestrian and bicycle collisions occurred most frequently downtown and along arterial roadways.
- Pedestrians involved in collisions were twice as likely to be struck in intersections as in mid-block locations. Bicyclists were equally likely to be struck in intersection and mid-block locations.
- Pedestrians and bicyclists between the ages of 15 and 34 were most frequently involved in collisions.
- Pedestrian fatalities, however, were more frequent among older pedestrians. Sixty-six percent occurred among pedestrians ages 65 and older, an age group that comprises seven percent of the Seattle population.
- Males represent a higher percentage of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers involved in pedestrian and bicycle collisions. The gender split is most dramatic among bicyclists involved in collisions, who were male in 74 percent of incidents.
- More pedestrians were involved in collisions during the winter months. November (67) and December (62) saw the highest totals, while the August total (19) was the lowest in at least five years.
- More bicyclists were involved in collisions during the spring and summer months. August (44) and July (41) saw the highest totals, while January, October, and December saw the lowest totals (18 each).
- Pedestrians and bicyclists were more frequently involved in collisions during the work week than on weekends. Sunday saw the lowest daily total for both.
- Pedestrians and bicyclists were most frequently involved in collisions during the evening rush. The hour between 5 and 6 p.m. saw the highest totals. All fatalities occurred between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. in 2007.
- Pedestrians were most frequently involved in collisions with vehicles traveling forward in a straight line.
- Bicyclists were most frequently involved in collisions while riding with traffic on the roadway.
- Pedestrians and bicyclists were most frequently involved in collisions with passenger cars, such as sedans.
- Pedestrians involved in collisions while attempting to cross at intersections were most frequently crossing with the traffic signal.
- Pedestrians and bicyclists were most frequently involved in collisions under clear or partly cloudy weather conditions.
- Where the pedestrian was reported to have contributed to the collision, the most common contributing factor was a failure to use a crosswalk. The most common contributing factor for drivers was a failure to grant the pedestrian right-of-way.
- Where the bicyclist was reported to have contributed to the collision, the most common contributing factors for both bicyclists and drivers was a failure to grant right-of-way.
- The “pedestrian” designation includes not just people on foot, but also roller skaters, skate boarders, people using wheelchairs, and flaggers working in the right of way. There were 23 people involved in collisions who fell into these categories, including nine people in wheelchairs.