This paper describes the temporal and spatial distribution of child pedestrian injury within Edmonton, Alberta for four fiscal years (1995-96 through 1998-99), and compares this pattern to temporal and spatial data on traffic volume.
We used injury data obtained through an ongoing emergency department (ED) surveillance system involving all hospitals in Alberta's Capital Health Region. We identified peak times of injury occurrence and the location of high injury incidence as indicated by census tract of residence. Empirical Bayes estimation procedures were used to calculate stable injury incidence ratios. Cartographic and correlation analyses identified the relationship between traffic volume and injury incidence.
Child pedestrian injury occurred most frequently during morning (0700-0900 hrs) and late afternoon (1500-1800 hrs) which corresponds with peak periods of vehicular traffic flow. The highest incidence rates occurred in or near areas of high traffic volume, notably in the central and west-central parts of Edmonton.
These findings emphasize the importance of considering spatial and temporal patterns in pedestrian injury research, as well as the need to incorporate these patterns in prevention strategies. Changing the times that children attend school may reduce the convergence of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.