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Achieving traffic safety goals in the United States : lessons from other nations

Author: National Academies (U.S.). Committee for the Study of Traffic Safety Lessons from Benchmark Nations.
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Transportation Research Board, 2011.
Series: Special report (National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board), 300.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The United States is missing significant opportunities to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. The experiences of other high-income nations and of the U.S. states with the best improvement records indicate the benefits from more rigorous safety programs. Most high-income countries are reducing traffic fatalities and fatality rates (per kilometer of travel) faster than is the United States, and several countries
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Achieving traffic safety goals in the United States.
Washington, D.C. : Transportation Research Board, 2010
(DLC) 2010040353
(OCoLC)671237287
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: National Academies (U.S.). Committee for the Study of Traffic Safety Lessons from Benchmark Nations.
OCLC Number: 701907153
Description: 1 online resource (x, 175 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Special report (National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board), 300.
Responsibility: Committee for the Study of Traffic Safety Lessons from Benchmark Nations, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.

Abstract:

"The United States is missing significant opportunities to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. The experiences of other high-income nations and of the U.S. states with the best improvement records indicate the benefits from more rigorous safety programs. Most high-income countries are reducing traffic fatalities and fatality rates (per kilometer of travel) faster than is the United States, and several countries that experienced higher fatality rates 20 years ago now are below the U.S. rate. From 1995 to 2009, annual traffic fatalities declined by 52 percent in France, 39 percent in the United Kingdom, 25 percent in Australia, and 50 percent in total in 15 high-income countries (excluding the United States) for which long-term fatality and traffic data are available, but by only 19 percent in the United States. Some U.S. states have fatality rates comparable to those of the countries with the safest roads; however, no state matches the typical speed of improvement in safety in other countries. The experience of these benchmark nations indicates that the successful national programs function effectively at three levels of activity: management and planning; technical implementation of specific countermeasures; and political support and leadership. Among these three areas, the most critical needs for action in the United States today may be in management and planning. Improved management will ensure that the available resources are used to greatest effect and, over time, will foster political and public support by demonstrating that reduction in fatalities and crashes is an attainable goal. The benchmark nations' experience indicates that systematic, results-oriented management can produce safety progress with the tool kit of countermeasures that is available to the responsible agencies.

The tool kit will vary among jurisdictions depending on basic legal constraints, community attitudes, road system and traffic characteristics, and resources. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) undertook a study to identify the sources of safety improvements in other countries. Researchers do not have a complete understanding of the underlying causes of long-term trends in crashes and fatalities. Differences among countries are in part attributable to factors other than government safety policies. To identify keys to success, the TRB study committee examined specific safety programs for which quantitative evaluations are available and relied on the observations of safety professionals with international experience. The committee's conclusions identify differences between U.S. and international practices that can account for some differences in outcomes. The committee recommendations, which are addressed to elected officials and to government safety administrators, identify actions needed in the United States to emulate the successes that other countries have achieved. The recommendations do not comprehensively address all aspects of traffic safety programs but rather address areas of practice that are highlighted by the international comparisons and for which credible evidence of effectiveness is available."--PPublisher's description.

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