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Exploring the impacts of safety culture on immigrants' vulnerability in non-motorized crashes: a cross-sectional study.

Abstract

Pedestrians and cyclists are a vulnerable group of road users. Immigrants are disproportionally represented in pedestrian and cyclist crashes. We postulate that the mismatch in safety culture between countries of their origin and the U.S.A. contribute to their vulnerability in pedestrian and cyclist crashes. Over time, the differences may disappear and immigrants' traffic behavior gravitates toward those of native-borns. We describe this process as safety assimilation. Using the pedestrian and cyclist crash database in New York City between 2001 and 2003, we examined the effects of foreign-born population, their countries of origin, and time of entry into the USA on census tract-level pedestrian and cyclist crashes. We find that neighborhoods with a higher concentration of immigrants, especially those from Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia, have more crashes. Our results also exhibit a pattern of the hypothesized safety assimilation process. The study suggests a higher level of vulnerability of immigrants to pedestrian and cyclist crashes. We propose that targeted policies and programs need to be developed for immigrants of different countries of origin.

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