U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The Pedestrian and Bicyclist Highway Safety Problem
As It Relates to the Hispanic Population in the United States
V. Conclusions and Recommendations
Hispanic immigrants and persons of Hispanic descent are involved in a disproportionate number of pedestrian and bicyclist crashes. Hispanics represent the fastest growing population group in the United States. The Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (FHWA/NHTSA) should target pedestrian and bicyclist safety programs for Hispanics.
- Local pedestrian and bicycle safety programs targeted at Hispanics should focus on the specific pedestrian/bicyclist problems being experienced in each community. Pedestrian and bicycle safety problems in Hispanic communities may be different than those elsewhere. For example, the national pedestrian and bicyclist crash statistics suggest that Hispanic children are less involved than non-Hispanic children but that Hispanic young adults are more involved. It also appears that Hispanics of Mexican origin and Hispanics of Central/South American origin are more involved in pedestrian and bicyclist crashes. The role of alcohol in both pedestrian and bicyclist crashes should also be addressed.
- FHWA/NHTSA should consider designing and implementing a campaign for Hispanic pedestrians,bicyclists, and drivers around the idea of "respect." This respect needs to flow mutually among all parties, and should include respect for the law as well. Such a campaign should be broadly targeted, but should include Spanish and bilingual materials.
- Hispanics, and recent immigrants in particular, need information that is bilingual and that clearly explains common U.S. traffic laws, signs, rules, and behaviors. Such a guide should be available in Hispanic community centers, government offices, schools, and other locations. A guide should also explain the various safety devices that are available, how they work, and what they cost.
- Information campaigns for Hispanics should focus on the need to obey U.S. traffic laws such as stopping at lights and crossing only in crosswalks. Other topics that are likely to be of interest to Hispanics include information on how cars react to snow and ice, how to use crosswalks,pedestrian/cyclists rights and responsibilities, and that Hispanics are more likely to be involved in such crashes and therefore need to be more alert.
- Focus group members emphasized the importance of using graphics on traffic signs for non-English speakers and low literacy individuals, and indicated that they might be more willing to use safety devices (e.g. bicycle helmets) if such devices were available for free or at a reduced cost.
- Additional research is needed to more precisely target the characteristics of Hispanics involved in pedestrian and bicyclist crashes. It is not known if the Hispanics that are involved in these crashes are born in this country or if they are immigrants – documented or undocumented. This information is needed in order to identify the target population of safety efforts and develop effective program sand messages.
- Additional research is needed to determine the kinds of crashes – both pedestrian and bicyclist – that Hispanics experience. Crash typologies- both pedestrian and bicyclist – were developed over 30 years ago, before there was a significant Hispanic presence in this country. Detailed accident causation research is needed to determine if existing accident typologies are adequate or if additional accident types are being experienced by Hispanic pedestrians and bicyclists.
- The detailed analysis of the Fatal Accident Reporting System data in this report showed that non-Hispanic Blacks, as well as Hispanics, are over-represented in many kinds of pedestrian and bicyclist crashes. Additional research is needed to determine if significant safety benefits can be obtained by targeting non-Hispanic Blacks and other minority groups.
Page last modified on January 31, 2013.