safety

The incompatibility of Vision Zero and VMT growth

By Eric Sundquist The U.S. transportation field has tried many things to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries: drunk-driving and seatbelt laws; in-vehicle safety improvements; wide, straight roads with crash zones; graduated licensing; and more. Yet traffic crashes still kill

Survey: Mayors see the problem but shy away from the solutions

By Eric Sundquist U.S. mayors recognize safety and environmental issues resulting from automobile traffic, according to a new survey from Boston University. But they are leery about implementing commonly accepted remedies like lower speeds, more enforcement, reduced parking or separated bike

Setting speed limits based on safety, not driver behavior

By Eric Sundquist The 85th percentile rule in speed limit setting—an arbitrary but longstanding convention—has begun to weaken in recent years, with new guidance now allowing for lower speeds. FHWA’s USLIMITS2, for example, allows for speeds down to the 50th percentile in certain cases. Now

The persistence of pedestrianism

By Robbie Webber An investigation of the “persistence of pedestrianism,” written by Peter Norton and published by Cambridge University Press, explores the history of both the rise of the dominance of automobiles as personal transportation and the continuing pushback by pedestrian advocates

Places with most crash exposure also fear enforcement bias

By Eric Sundquist Low-income and minority Americans face a dilemma: They are disproportionately victimized by our transportation system. And while law enforcement could help, those same Americans are subject to profiling and fines that can lead to economic ruin. SSTI’s mid-November Community of

Nighttime pedestrian fatalities soar

By Robbie Webber Although we are now past Halloween—the night of the year with the highest number of pedestrian crashes—we still have work to do on improving the safety of walking at night. While other crash types have gone down, pedestrian and bicycle crashes continue to rise, and crashes

More sharp curves make roads safer

By Michael Brenneis Unlike other risk factors such as speed or impairment—where more is not safer—increasing the number of sharp curves on a road segment appears to lower the risk of crashing, according to a new paper in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention. Curves carry a level of

Parents don’t always agree with practitioners about safe cycling routes for kids

by Rayla Bellis Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress (LTS), a system for rating bicycle routes from low- to high-stress based on factors like vehicle speed and separation from traffic, has been gaining traction nationwide as an approach for identifying needed investments, evaluating the overall

New study shows cataract surgery improves driving safety

By Yicong Yang Although alcohol, speeding, and distracted driving are the major sources of injuries and fatalities on the road, being able to see well cannot be underestimated. As drivers age, the occurrence of cataracts increases, and they can be a significant barrier to safe driving. A new

Auto-braking is becoming more common, but the tech is still evolving

By Eric Sundquist One hope for reversing the growing death toll among pedestrians and cyclists lies in technology that senses crashes before they happen and avoids them. In 2015, NHTSA, with support from the insurance industry, reached an agreement with most automakers to ramp up installation of