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Addressing Socioeconomic Disparities in Motor Vehicle Fatalities

Sponsor: National Safety Council
Investigators: Kathleen DeSantis Klinich, Carol Flannagan, Jared Karlow, Andrew Leslie, Ayshwarya Jagadeesan
August 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019

            The goal of this project is to review literature and analyze data to identify disparities in motor-vehicle fatalities related to socioeconomic (SES) factors and strategies to address the disparities. The first task is to review the literature from the last two decades to examine previous work to examine fatality disparities associated with income level, race/ethnicity, and rural/urban location. The second task involves analysis of FARS data to identify trends related to socioeconomic factors. We link US Census data on race, ethnicity, income, and education to FARS cases using the driver zipcode. In addition, we classify FARS cases using the Rural/Urban Classification Code by driver zipcode. Analysis of FARS compared the observed vs. expected number of fatalities by quintile for each SES factor. These results were used in the third task to identify potential SES predictors for use in developing fatality risk models with the NASS-GES dataset. Factors included in the fatality risk model as a result of this analysis are young driver, pedestrian crash, vehicle older than 12 years, belt restraint, and driver gender. Large metro and lower education level were the two main SES factors that had a significant effect on the model. The fourth task involves analysis of the National Household Travel Survey to help identify how SES differences in fatalities are related to travel patterns. The final task is to upgrade UTMOST to allow visualization of fatalities according to SES factors. An additional countermeasure was also added to UTMOST to study the effect of replacing older vehicles.