U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content
Facebook iconYouTube iconTwitter iconFlickr iconLinkedIn

Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Back to Publication List        
Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-17-106    Date:  April 2018
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-17-106
Date: April 2018


Guidebook on Identification of High Pedestrian Crash Locations



One of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s top priorities is the improvement of pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) promotes safe, comfortable, and convenient walking for people of all ages and abilities. Part of this effort has been to encourage a data-driven approach to identifying and mitigating safety problems.

An initial step in reducing the frequency of pedestrian crashes is identifying where they are occurring or where there is a concern that they are likely to occur. Several approaches have been used to identify locations where a concern exists for pedestrians. Once locations with a large number of pedestrian crashes or with a safety concern for pedestrians have been identified, appropriate treatments can be selected and installed.


The purpose of this guidebook is to assist communities in identifying high pedestrian crash locations. The guidebook builds on or complements materials provided in other resources, such as those discussed in the following Resources section. The locations can include points (e.g., intersections or midblock crossings), segments, facilities, and areas.


FHWA and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) recently sponsored several studies to aid in the identification and prioritization of sites with safety concerns for pedestrians. The materials being developed include the following:

Other documents that could be of value in identifying and evaluating pedestrian crash locations include the following:

Resources for prioritizing locations after they are identified are provided in chapter 5 of this document. Once an agency has selected the locations for treatment, several resources are available to assist in countermeasure selection, including, but not limited to, the following:


Locations with nonmotorized user concerns are not always identified using a typical network-screening process. The greater number of motor vehicle crashes, as compared to pedestrian and bicycle crashes, may mask locations with specific pedestrian concerns. Another concern is that, because an injured pedestrian or bicyclist may seek emergency medical care as quickly as possible, some of these crashes may not be accurately reported (or even reported at all).

The research team contacted several agencies to gather information on how they are identifying high pedestrian crash locations. This information coupled with findings from a review of the literature generated the process shown in figure 1. Following are the steps along with the chapters in which they will be discussed:

  1. Select approach (chapter 2).
  2. Gather data (chapter 3).
  3. Plan assessment (chapter 4).
  4. Conduct assessment (chapter 5).
  5. Prioritize locations (chapter 6).

In addition to the glossary, this guidebook concludes with supporting materials grouped within the following sections in chapter 7:

This graphic shows the incremental steps (each step is illustrated as blue box with rounded corners and contains a step name) to identify high pedestrian crash locations. The steps begin at the top left of the figure and end at the bottom right. An arrow from the first step, "Select approach," is directed down and to the right to the "Gather data" step, which has an arrow that is pointed down and to the right to the "Plan assessment" step. An arrow from the "Plan assessment" step is pointed down and to the right to the "Conduct assessment" step. An arrow from the "Conduct assessment" step points down and to the right to the final step, which is "Prioritize locations."

©Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

Figure 1. Graphic. Steps to identify high pedestrian crash locations.

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101