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Special Report 300 Achieving Traffic Safety Goals in the United States Lessons from Other Nations Committee for the Study of Traffic Safety Lessons from Benchmark Nations Transportation Research Board Washington, D.C. 2010 www.TRB.org

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Transportation Research Board Special Report 300 Subscriber Categories Highways; pedestrians and bicyclists; administration and management; policy; safety and human factors Transportation Research Board publications are available by ordering individual publications directly from the TRB Business Office, through the Internet at www.TRB.org or national- academies.org/trb, or by annual subscription through organizational or individual affiliation with TRB. Affiliates and library subscribers are eligible for substantial discounts. For further information, contact the Transportation Research Board Business Office, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (telephone 202-334-3213; fax 202-334-2519; or e-mail TRBsales@nas.edu). Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to the procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This study was sponsored by the Transportation Research Board and the General Motors Foundation. Typesetting by Circle Graphics. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Achieving traffic safety goals in the United States : lessons from other nations / Committee for the Study of Traffic Safety Lessons from Benchmark Nations, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. p. cm.—(Transportation Research Board special report ; 300) Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-0-309-16065-0 1. Traffic safety—United States. 2. Traffic accidents—United States—Prevention. 3. Motor vehicle driving—United States—Safety measures. 4. Strategic planning—United States. I. National Academies (U.S.). Committee for the Study of Traffic Safety Lessons from Benchmark Nations. HE5614.2.A5935 2010 363.12'50973—dc22 2010040353

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Board’s varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org

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Committee for the Study of Traffic Safety Lessons from Benchmark Nations Clinton V. Oster, Jr., School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Chair Tony Bliss, Transport Division, Energy, Transport, and Water Department, World Bank William A. Bronrott, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Troy E. Costales, Transportation Safety Division, Oregon Department of Transportation Kent L. Cravens, New Mexico Senate John J. Cullerton, Illinois Senate Joseph A. Farrow, California Highway Patrol Patrick S. McCarthy, Georgia Institute of Technology Alison Smiley, Human Factors North, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada John S. Strong, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia Richard Tay, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia Allan F. Williams, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (retired) Transportation Research Board Staff Joseph R. Morris, Study Director

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Preface I n recent decades nearly every high-income country has made more rapid progress than has the United States in reducing the frequency of road traffic deaths and the rate of deaths per kilometer of vehicle travel. As a result, the United States can no longer claim to rank highly in road safety by world standards. The gap between traffic safety progress in the United States and the other high-income countries has gained the attention of U.S. transportation and public safety administrators because it indicates that the United States may be missing important opportunities to reduce traffic deaths and injuries. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) formed the Committee for the Study of Traffic Safety Lessons from Benchmark Nations to document the experience of other high- income countries in reducing traffic deaths and injuries and to examine the safety programs that contributed to the reductions, in particular, interventions to alter driving behavior and strategies to build public and political support for safety interventions. The committee included experts in safety research, public policy, evaluation, and public administration and members of state legislatures. The purpose of the committee’s study was to identify traffic safety strategies that could succeed in the United States. The study was sponsored by TRB and by the General Motors Foundation. The committee made use of the work of two TRB projects that compared international safety experiences: a paper commissioned in 2004 by the TRB Research and Technology Coordinating Committee, written by Walter Diewald, on highway safety experience in Australia and Europe; and TRB Special Report 287: Improving Road Safety in Developing Countries: Opportunities for U.S. Cooperation and Engagement: Workshop Summary, the 2006 report on the Workshop on Traffic Safety in Developing Nations. The committee also received presentations at its meetings from Marilena Amoni and Jeffrey Lindley of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Fred Wegman of the Institute for Road Safety Research (Netherlands), Jim Reed of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Ian Johnston of Monash University, Peter Kissinger of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Barbara Harsha of the Governors Highway Safety Association, and Susan Herbel of Cambridge Systematics. U.S. traffic deaths declined by 9.3 percent from 2007 to 2008 and by 9.7 percent from 2008 to 2009. These are among the largest annual declines on record. The number of traffic deaths in 2009, 33,808, was the lowest total since 1950. The U.S. economy entered a recession in 2007, and the decline in traffic deaths is consistent with the declines that occurred during past recessions, given the exceptional depth and duration of the recent recession. U.S. traffic fatalities increased when economic growth resumed after past recessions, and such an increase can be anticipated after the recent recession. Therefore, the experience of the past 3 years is not grounds for concluding that sustainable progress has been made on traffic safety. The severity of the problem and the gap in performance between the United States and other countries remain great. In recognition that major changes in traffic safety practices will require political leadership and acceptance by the public, in the United States as in other countries, the study charge directs the committee to identify strategies to build public and political support. The committee did not propose a comprehensive solution to this political problem, but it recommends actions that it concluded are necessary, if modest, first steps in bringing about the needed vii

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viii Special Report 300: Achieving Traffic Safety Goals in the United States: Lessons from Other Nations changes. The committee believes that the improvements in safety management and legislative oversight that it recommends will lead to initial safety gains and increase the credibility of the responsible executive agencies in seeking legislative support and resources. The report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that assist the authors and NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The following individuals participated in the review of this report: William G. Agnew, Corrales, New Mexico; Paul S. Fischbeck, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Barbara L. Harsha, Governors Highway Safety Association, Washington, D.C.; Douglas W. Harwood, Midwest Research Institute, Kansas City, Missouri; James H. Hedlund, Highway Safety North, Ithaca, New York; Robert E. Hull, Utah Department of Transportation, Salt Lake City; Ian Johnston, Monash University, Victoria, Australia; James B. Reed, National Conference of State Legislatures, Denver, Colorado; and David Shinar, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the committee’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Johanna T. Dwyer, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, and by C. Michael Walton, University of Texas, Austin. Appointed by NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Joseph R. Morris managed the study and drafted the final report under the guidance of the committee and the supervision of Stephen R. Godwin, Director, Studies and Special Programs. Suzanne Schneider, Associate Executive Director of TRB, managed the report review process. Norman Solomon edited the report, and Jennifer J. Weeks, Editorial Services Specialist, prepared the prepublication manuscript and background papers for web posting, under the supervision of Javy Awan, Director of Publications. Nikisha Turman and Claudia Sauls assisted with meeting arrangements and communications with committee members.

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Contents Summary.........................................................................................................................................1 1 Introduction..............................................................................................................................9 Traffic Safety Progress in the United States and Other Countries...........................................12 National Strategies ...................................................................................................................14 Study Origin and Charge .........................................................................................................16 Outline of the Report ...............................................................................................................23 2 World and U.S. Safety Trends ..............................................................................................27 World Fatality Rate Trends......................................................................................................27 U.S. State Fatality Rate Trends................................................................................................33 Sources of Differences in the Trends.......................................................................................35 Factors Affecting U.S. Fatality Rate Trends............................................................................42 3 National Safety Programs in Benchmark Countries and the United States.....................51 Common Elements of Benchmark Nations’ Safety Programs.................................................51 Examples of National Safety Programs ...................................................................................56 Nationally Organized Safety Management Reform Initiatives in the United States ...............74 4 Case Studies of Safety Interventions ....................................................................................93 Alcohol-Impaired Driving Prevention .....................................................................................94 Speed Control.........................................................................................................................107 Seat Belts ...............................................................................................................................124 Motorcycle Helmet Laws.......................................................................................................130 Highway Network Screening and Safe Road Design ............................................................137 5 Conclusions and Recommendations...................................................................................151 Lessons from the International Comparisons ........................................................................151 Management and Planning of Safety Programs.....................................................................153 Technical Implementation of Countermeasures ....................................................................163 Political Leadership and Public Support................................................................................169 Study Committee Biographical Information...........................................................................173

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