Residential accessibility’s relationships with crash rates per capita


  • Louis A Merlin School of Urban and Regional Planning Florida Atlantic University
  • Chris R Cherry Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Amin Mohamadi-Hezaveh Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Eric Dumbaugh School of Urban and Regional Planning Florida Atlantic University



Accessibility, Safety, Crashes, Travel Behavior, Exposure


This paper examines the relationship between residential accessibility, i.e., accessibility from a person’s home address, and their likelihood of being in a crash over a three-year period. We explore two potential relationships with accessibility. The first is that persons who live in areas with high destination accessibility may drive less and therefore are less likely to be in vehicular crashes. The second is that persons who live in high vehicle miles traveled (VMT) accessibility areas may be exposed to higher levels of traffic in their regular activity space and therefore may be more likely to be in crashes of all modal types. Examining traffic analysis zones in Knoxville, Tennessee, this research finds some evidence for each of these hypothesized effects. These oppositely directed effects have dominant influence within different travel-time thresholds. The first relationship between destination accessibility and fewer crashes is found to be strongest for 10-minute auto accessibility, whereas the second relationship between VMT accessibility and more crashes is found to occur at 10-minute, 20-minute, and 30-minute thresholds.

Author Biography

Louis A Merlin, School of Urban and Regional Planning Florida Atlantic University

Louis A. Merlin completed his Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina in 2014. Then Dr. Merlin served as a Dow Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan. Currently, Dr. Merlin is an assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University.


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How to Cite

Merlin, L. A., Cherry, C. R., Mohamadi-Hezaveh, A., & Dumbaugh, E. (2020). Residential accessibility’s relationships with crash rates per capita. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 13(1), 113-128.