Achieving Traffic Safety Goals in the United States: Lessons from Other Nations

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Transportation Research Board, 2011 - Motor vehicle driving - 246 pages
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"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.

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World and U S Safety Trends
National Safety Programs in Benchmark Countries
Examples of National Safety Programs
Nationally Organized Safety Management Reform
Case Studies of Safety Interventions
Conclusions and Recommendations
Study Committee Biographical Information

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