Self-Reported Incident Analysis

Respondents can report information about crashes in which they had been involved as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorist on or near campus. They can identify the location of the incident on a paper map or using an online mapping interface by dropping an icon after navigating, zooming in and using a satellite view of the area. Respondents can be asked to provide additional information about the crash, including a narrative description of the crash in an open-ended question format. Respondents can also report whether they had experienced a "near miss" at the location or witnessed a crash or a "near miss."

While self-reported incident data can be collected using a variety of formats (e.g., mail, telephone, in-person intercept), they are often collected through an online survey. Online surveys are particularly effective in college communities because most of the campus community can be contacted using a small number of e-mail lists. This approach can gather a large amount of data and involve many members of the campus community to help identify safety problems. In some cases, students, faculty, and staff may be able to identify locations that may have a high risk pedestrian and bicycle crashes in the future, even if they have experienced few reported crashes in recent years. Online surveys that collect self-reported incident data can also be designed to collect perceptions of hazardous locations, travel data, and socioeconomic data.

Considerations: Self-reported incidents have a greater potential to be inaccurate than police crash reports. There is no mechanism to validate the information provided by an anonymous online survey respondent. In addition, people may forget the specific location or other details of a crash when trying to recall an incident that occurred several months earlier. Like reported-crash hot spots, reported incidents are also likely to highlight locations that have higher levels of pedestrian or bicycle activity but overlook locations that may be risky but have lower pedestrian and bicycle volumes.

Applications: Grembek et al. (2014) compared safety risks for bicyclists and pedestrians on three campuses in California. The study focused on urban form factors that affect crashes, using a combination of data from the California Highway Patrol, police records, and self-reported data collected through surveys to identify hot spot locations within and around the campuses (see below). An example survey questionnaire is available from Grembek et al. (2014) [].

University of California, Los Angeles Bicycle Hot Spots identified Using Police-Reported Crashes, Self-Reported Crashes, and Locations Perceived to be Hazardous

University of California, Los Angeles bicycle hot spots identified using police-reported crashes, self-reported crashes, and locations perceived to be hazardous.
Source: Grembek et al. (2014) A Comparative Analaysis of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety around University Campuses.

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