Bicycle + Pedestrian Crash Analysis

In order to help improve the safety of people walking and bicycling in our region, the TPO maintains data about traffic crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

These infographics summarize information about crashes in the region and different crash types and locations.

See More Crash Facts

This map shows the location of pedestrian and bicycle crashes throughout the region.

The following reports include a regional summary covering five years of crashes, as well as reports for multiple jurisdictions analyzing patterns in crash locations and circumstances.

ABOUT THE DATA

All information is from crash reports involving motor vehicles made by local law enforcement to TITAN (Tennessee Integrated Traffic Analysis Network) and analyzed by the TPO. Crash reports came from the following law enforcement agencies and cover the following date ranges:

  • Alcoa Police Department (March 2011-December 2016)
  • Blount County Sheriff’s Office (September 2010-December 2016)
  • Knox County Sheriff’s Office (August 2011-December 2016)
  • Knoxville Police Department (January 2007-December 2016)
  • Lenoir City Police Department (July 2011-December 2016)
  • Maryville Police Department (September 2010-December 2016)
  • Oak Ridge Police Department (August 2011-December 2016)

The date range varies by locality because each agency began reporting crashes to TITAN at a different time. Reports prior to June 2009 were obtained directly from the Knoxville Police Department. TPO staff verified crash locations and assigned crash factors based on information obtained from individual crash reports, including crash narratives and information about citations issued.

ABOUT THE CRASH FACTORS

The goal in identifying the crash factors is to prevent future crashes through engineering, education, and enforcement. Below are descriptions of the eight crash factors:

  1. Drivers failing to yield while turning.These are crashes where the report indicates that the pedestrian or bicyclist was behaving properly while traveling along or across a street, and the driver failed to yield. In locations or corridors with multiple crashes of this type, changes to the geometry of the intersections and/or to the function of the traffic signals may help prevent future crashes. Education and traffic enforcement may be needed as well. Crashes are divided into four types:
    • Driver turning left
    • Driver turning right (not right on red)
    • Driver turning right on red light
    • Direction of turn unclear
  2. People struck by cars while walking in locations without sidewalks. This includes only cases where the report finds that the pedestrian was walking along the street when the crash happened, not cases where pedestrians darted into traffic. These crashes indicate a need for sidewalks where they are currently missing.
  3. Drivers failing to yield while going straight. In these instances, pedestrians are crossing the street in a legal crosswalk, either marked or unmarked, and are struck by a driver. Cases are excluded if the report indicates that the person walking or bicycling darted into traffic or otherwise entered the street in a way that failed to give the driver sufficient time to yield the right of way. These crashes indicate the need for education and enforcement for drivers.
  4. Bicyclists riding on the sidewalk. Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is legal in most places. Bicycle safety educators generally warn against riding on the sidewalk, because of the danger from turning motor vehicles. However, in many cases bicyclists ride on the sidewalk because there aren’t safe places to ride on the street. These crashes indicate the need for safer places for bicyclists.
  5. Pedestrians crossing a street outside of an intersection or marked midblock crossing.In these locations, there may be a need to educate pedestrians to cross at appropriate locations. They may also indicate the need for additional streets crossings, as existing signalized intersections are too far apart. In some instances, people choose to cross the street away from signalized intersections to avoid the risks of turning vehicles. This indicates the need to make signalized intersections safer for people walking.
  6. Bicyclists riding against traffic. Riding against traffic suggests the need to educate bicyclists about safer ways to ride.
  7. Driver striking bicyclist from behind.This type of crash indicates the need for safe places to ride for bicyclists.
  8. Bicyclist riding at night with no lights.Education for bicyclists may help prevent these types of crashes.