Traffic Fatalities and the Built Environment

Mortality Risk Associated With Leaving Home: Recognizing the Relevance of the Built Environment

American Journal of Public Health,  September 2003, Vol 93, No. 9 William H. Lucy, PhD

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For many years, traffic accidents have ranked among the top 10 leading causes of death, standing at number 7 in 2000. Therefore, they have significant implications for desirable and undesirable patterns of the built environment. In a society in which transportation mobility is a prominent feature of everyday existence, dangers to health related to transportation are worth considering. When transportation dangers are conceptualized to include the danger of leaving home to conduct routine activities, additional implications of built environment patterns can be analyzed. Here I analyze the most numerous and measurable of deaths related to leaving home for routine activities—traffic fatalities and homicides—and consider connections between them and the built environment.