Why is road safety in the U.S. not on par with Sweden, the U.K., and the Netherlands?

Lessons to be learned

Juha Luoma (Corresponding Author), Michael Sivak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: This study compared road safety and related factors in the U.S. with those in Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands (which are among the best-performing countries), in order to identify actions most likely to produce casualty reductions in the U.S. Method: The reviewed topics were basic country statistics, road fatalities and various fatality rates, and selected road-safety issues. Results: The main differences concerned structural and cultural factors (such as vehicle distance driven), and procedural factors (such as alcohol-impaired driving, exceeding speed limits, and use of seat belts). Conclusions: The main recommendations for improving road safety in the U.S. are as follows: (1) lower states' BAC limits, and encourage the use of alcohol ignition interlocks (2) reexamine the current speed-limit policies and improve speed enforcement, (3) implement primary seat-belt-wearing laws in each state that would cover both front and rear occupants, and reward vehicle manufacturers for installation of advanced seat-belt reminders, and (4) reconsider road-safety target setting so that the focus is on reducing fatalities and not on reducing fatality rate per distance driven, and (5) consider new strategies to reduce vehicle distance driven.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Transport Research Review
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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Sweden
Netherlands
road
speed limit
Alcohols
alcohol
Ignition
cultural factors
Statistics
reward
statistics
Law

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • young drivers
  • seat belts
  • driver behavior
  • speeding
  • road safety

Cite this

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title = "Why is road safety in the U.S. not on par with Sweden, the U.K., and the Netherlands?: Lessons to be learned",
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Why is road safety in the U.S. not on par with Sweden, the U.K., and the Netherlands? Lessons to be learned. / Luoma, Juha (Corresponding Author); Sivak, Michael.

In: European Transport Research Review, Vol. 6, No. 3, 25.01.2014, p. 295-302.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - Purpose: This study compared road safety and related factors in the U.S. with those in Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands (which are among the best-performing countries), in order to identify actions most likely to produce casualty reductions in the U.S. Method: The reviewed topics were basic country statistics, road fatalities and various fatality rates, and selected road-safety issues. Results: The main differences concerned structural and cultural factors (such as vehicle distance driven), and procedural factors (such as alcohol-impaired driving, exceeding speed limits, and use of seat belts). Conclusions: The main recommendations for improving road safety in the U.S. are as follows: (1) lower states' BAC limits, and encourage the use of alcohol ignition interlocks (2) reexamine the current speed-limit policies and improve speed enforcement, (3) implement primary seat-belt-wearing laws in each state that would cover both front and rear occupants, and reward vehicle manufacturers for installation of advanced seat-belt reminders, and (4) reconsider road-safety target setting so that the focus is on reducing fatalities and not on reducing fatality rate per distance driven, and (5) consider new strategies to reduce vehicle distance driven.

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