Fewer street crossings improves child safety on way to school: study

Toronto – Children are less likely to be injured by vehicles when walking to school in environments that have fewer street crossings, concludes a recent study from the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Researchers investigated the number of vehicle collisions with children 4 to 12 years old within the boundaries of schools from 2002 to 2011. They found that environments that increased children’s exposure to traffic had a greater impact on collision risk than the proportion of students walking to school. The street crossings with the most danger to children included those on one-way streets or near traffic lights, speed bumps or crossing guards – likely because those features indicate the road has a higher volume of traffic, the researchers noted.

They recommended communities design pathways to school with fewer street crossings.

The study was published online April 7 in Pediatrics.