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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-090
Date: June 2006

PBCAT-Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool

Version 2.0

FHWA Contact: Ann Do, HRDS-06, 202–493–3319,

PDF Version (2.20 MB)

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This TechBrief provides a summary of the computer software, Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT) Version 2.0, which replaces PBCAT Version 1.0. The application manual for the software, Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT): Version 2.0 Application Manual, FHWA–HRT–06–089, will be published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).


What is PBCAT?

In 2004, 4,641 pedestrians and 725 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes, accounting for more than 12 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. An additional 68,000 pedestrians and 41,000 bicyclists were reported to be injured as a result of incidents involving motor vehicles.1,2 PBCAT is a software application designed to assist State and local pedestrian and bicycle coordinators, planners, and engineers in addressing pedestrian and bicyclist crash problems.

PBCAT accomplishes this goal by enabling users to develop a database of details associated with crashes between motor vehicles and pedestrians or bicyclists. One of these details is crash type, which describes the pre–crash actions of the involved parties. After developing a database of crash information, PBCAT users can analyze the data, produce reports, and select countermeasures to address the problems identified by the software.


Why Crash Typing?

The development of effective countermeasures to prevent bicyclist and pedestrian crashes is hindered by computerized State crash files that contain insufficient details about the crashes. Analysis of these files often provides data that includes where pedestrian and bicyclist crashes occur, such as the city, street, type of street, or intersection; when crashes occur, such as the time of day or day of the week; and the characteristics of the victims, such as their age, gender, and severity of injuries. These data, however, do not provide adequate detail to determine the sequence of events that lead up to and cause crashes.

During the 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed methodologies for typing pedestrian and bicycle crashes to better define the sequence of events and precipitating actions leading to crashes.3,4 In the 1990s, the methodologies were applied to more than 8,000 pedestrian and bicycle crashes in six States. The results provided a representative summary of the distribution of crash types experienced by pedestrians and bicyclists.5,6,7 Over time, this method has evolved and was refined during development of PBCAT Version 1.0.8


Version 2.0 Features

PBCAT Version 2.0 includes significant improvements in functionality and has an enhanced design that makes the software easier to use. Some features of PBCAT Version 2.0 include:

  • User–friendly environment and improved navigation—PBCAT Version 2.0 operates in a Microsoft® Windows® environment and includes easy–to–use pulldown menus and toolbars.
  • Form Designer—Users can customize the form for inputting crash data and design it to match the police crash reports used in their community. (See figure 1.)

  • Group Crash Typing—An alternative version of crash typing is available for users who do not want the level of detail on crash type offered in PBCAT Version 1.0, which only included the standard version of crash types.

  • Location Data—Users have the option of recording specific location information, such as approach and travel direction, for pedestrian crashes occurring at intersections. (See figure 2.)

  • Crash Reports—PBCAT users can produce single variable and multivariable tables within the application and export the results to Microsoft Excel® for further customization and graphics production. (See figure 3.)

  • Countermeasures—PBCAT Version 2.0 provides users with access to detailed descriptions of engineering, education, and enforcement countermeasures that address specific types of crashes. Each countermeasure description includes a purpose, considerations, estimated cost, and real–world case studies. (See figures 4 and 5 for samples of a countermeasure description and matrix.)

  • Expert System Tools—To help users select appropriate countermeasures, PBCAT Version 2.0 includes links to the Web–based Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System (PEDSAFE) and the Bicycle Countermeasure Selection System (BIKESAFE).9,10

  • Import/Export Capabilities—The software includes a conversion utility that enables users to import data from PBCAT Version 1.0. In addition, users can export data from PBCAT Version 2.0 in several formats that allow for more sophisticated analyses with other applications, such as Excel and SAS® software.


Product Access

PBCAT Version 2.0 can be downloaded from,, or The compressed file for PBCAT Version 2.0 is 40 megabytes and should be downloaded over a broadband connection. Using a 56K connection to download the software may take up to 2 hours. Users who do not have a broadband connection can request a copy of PBCAT Version 2.0 on CD–ROM by sending an e–mail to For more information on PBCAT Version 2.0 or FHWA's pedestrian and bicycle research program, contact Ann Do of FHWA at



  1. Traffic Safety Facts 2004 Data, Pedestrians, DOT HS 809 913, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC, 2005.

  2. Traffic Safety Facts 2004 Data, Pedestrians, DOT HS 809 912, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC, 2005.

  3. Snyder, M.B. and R.L. Knoblauch. Pedestrian Safety: The Identification of Precipitating Factors and Possible Countermeasures, FH–11–7312, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC, 1971.

  4. Cross, K.D. and G. Fisher. A Study of Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Accidents: Identification of Problem Types and Countermeasure Approaches, Volume I, DOT–HS–803–315, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC, 1977.

  5. Hunter, W.W., J.C. Stutts, W.E. Pein, and C.L. Cox. Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Types of the Early 1990's, FHWA–RD–95–163, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC, June 1996.

  6. Hunter, W.W., J.C. Stutts, and W.E. Pein. Pedestrian Crash Types: A 1990's Informational Guide, FHWA–RD–96–163, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC, April 1997.

  7. Hunter, W.W., W.E. Pein, and J.C. Stutts. Bicycle Crash Types: A 1990's Informational Guide, FHWA–RD–96–104, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC, April 1997.

  8. Harkey, D.L., J. Mekemson, M.C. Chen, and K.A. Krull.PBCAT: Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool, Version 1.0, Software and User's Manual, FHWA–RD–99–192, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC, December 1999.

  9. Harkey, D.L. and C.V. Zegeer. PEDSAFE: Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System, FHWA–SA–04–003, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC, September 2004.

  10. Hunter, W.W., L. Thomas, and J.C. Stutts. BIKESAFE: Bicycle Countermeasure Selection System, FHWA–SA–05–006, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC, April 2006.

Figure 1. Form designer. Screen capture. Computer screen with multiple fields having drop-down menus for customizing the report form.

Figure 1: Form designer.


Figure 2. Location data. Screen capture. Screen shows fields for manual input such as date of crash, location, and G P S data. User also chooses from six scenarios that illustrate the pedestrian’s movement when struck in an intersection when the car is turning left.

Figure 2: Location data.


Figure 3. Crash report. Screen capture. The top of the screen is populated with drop-down menus for choosing data source, variable selection, data range and presentation option for data selection. The lower half of the screen is a spreadsheet showing pedestrian crash analysis.

Figure 3: Crash report.


Figure 4. Countermeasure description. Screen capture. Each countermeasure has a page with a description of the treatment, its purpose, considerations, estimated cost, and links to case studies. The page is primarily descriptive text with drawings of intersection markings and photos of intersections that match the description.

Figure 4: Countermeasure description.


Figure 5. Countermeasure matrix. Screen capture. The matrix lists 12 crash groups down the side: Dart / dash, multiple threat / trapped, unique midblock, through vehicle at unsignalized location, bus-related, turning vehicle, through vehicle at signalized location, walking along roadway, working or playing in roadway, nonroadway, backing vehicle, and crossing expressway. Seven countermeasures are listed across the top of the matrix: pedestrian facility design, roadway design, intersection design, traffic calming, traffic management, signals and signs, other measures. The matrix uses dots to indicate which countermeasure is a remedy for each crash group.

Figure 5: Countermeasure matrix.


Researchers—This product was developed by David L. Harkey, Sean Tsai, Libby Thomas, and William W. Hunter of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

Distribution—This TechBrief is printed with direct distribution to the Divisions and Resource Center. Printed copies can be obtained from the FHWA Research and Technology Product Distribution Center by e-mail to, by fax to 301–577–1421, or by phone to 301–577–0818. Electronic copies are available on the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center Web site. To download this TechBrief, go to

Availability—The software and manual Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT) Version 2.0, which is the subject of this TechBrief, will be available for download from,, or

Key Words—pedestrian crashes, bicycle crashes, crash typing, crash analysis, pedestrian countermeasures, bicycling countermeasures.

Notice—This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement—The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

June 2006
FHWA HRT–06–090

U.S. Department Of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Research, Development, and Technology
Turner–Fairbank Highway Research Center
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296


United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration