Learning from Close Calls: A Glimpse Into Near-Miss Experiences

Report by Dr. Dian Nostikasari, Dr. Kyle Shelton
June 2017

Kinder Institute for Urban Research   (Houston)

A near-miss incident is a situation in which two or more road users, such as a pedestrian, a bicyclist or a driver, experience a conflict or carry out evasive actions, like making a sudden stop or jumping out of the way, to avoid a collision. At its most basic level, it’s an event that leaves you thinking “that was close.”


  • Near-misses are often a reoccurring experience, and participants (especially bicyclists and pedestrians) actively anticipate such incidents
  • Reported incidents were attributed to lack of awareness of other road users, lack of safety markers, and infrastructure issues, including bad road conditions and non-existent bikeways
  • The marginalized position of non-motorized travelers is refected not only in aggressions from motorized road users but also in the lack of transportation safety investments