Analysis of vulnerable road user-to-motor vehicle collisions in New Brunswick
University of New Brunswick
Vulnerable road users (VRU), including pedestrians, cyclists, and power-assisted bikes and scooters (PABS), are the most at risk of a fatality or serious injury when involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. This study undertook a statistical analysis of VRU-to-motor vehicle collisions in New Brunswick (NB) between 1993 and 2017. Over the 25-year period, the collision data captured a total of 3143 pedestrian collisions, 2214 cyclist collisions, and 203 PABS collisions in NB. Patterns and long-term trends were investigated to gain a better understanding of VRU safety and identify cost-effective safety countermeasures. The study found that VRU-to-vehicle collisions have steadily decreased between 1993 and 2017 in both urban and rural NB. Further, the frequency analysis revealed five key results: VRU’s under the age of 30 were significantly over-represented in the collision data, less than half of cyclists and PABS drivers were reported wearing safety equipment, the severity of a collision generally increased as the speed of the vehicle increased, a large proportion of collisions occurred during dark conditions, and the two major contributing factors were driver inattention and pedestrian error/confusion. Based on the study findings, it is recommended that provincial and municipal road authorities consider promoting or implementing safety countermeasures including training and education initiatives, VRU-related infrastructure improvements, speed reduction measures, strategic lighting improvements, and autonomous emergency braking systems (AEB) that detect VRUs.