Disparities in Activity and Traffic Fatalities by Race/Ethnicity

Traffic fatalities remain a major public health challenge despite progress made during recent decades. This study develops exposure-based estimates of fatalities per mile traveled for pedestrians, cyclists, and light-duty vehicle occupants and describes disparities by race/ethnicity, including a subanalysis of fatality rates during darkness and in urban areas.

Researchers found that fatality rates per 100 million miles traveled are systemically higher for Black and Hispanic Americans for all modes — and notable higher for vulnerable modes like bicycling and walking. Previous estimates that do not adjust for differential exposure may underestimate disparities by race/ethnicity. Observed disparities remained when considering only urban areas and appear to be exacerbated during darkness.