The Need to Use Research When Promoting Road Safety

It is both a sad and dangerous fact that the majority of people who use roads — and who doesn’t? — very mistakenly assume that they know a lot about road safety.  However, taken overall, it is a very complex subject about which only a very few top experts even come close to knowing it ‘all’.

The wreckage from the crash that cost James Dean his life. Ironically, this was just after he had made some PSA announcements for the National Safety Council about highway safety.  (Wikimedia Commons)

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Research: The implications of ridehailing for risky driving and road accident injuries and fatalities

David S.Kirk, Nicolo Cavalli, Noli Brazil

Highlights

— Traffic fatalities are among the leading causes of death of 15–29 year olds.

— Study examines consequences of Uber’s rollout in Great Britain for road accidents.

— Uber associated with a 9% decline in serious road accident injuries.

— Slight injuries declined outside of London with Uber, but increased within London.

— No effect of Uber on traffic fatalities.

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Increased Speed Limits Mean Increased Deaths (even on autobahns, not just interstates!)

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety [IIHS], lawmakers in Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York are considering raising their maximum speed limits.  However, IIHS research shows that in the USA between 1993 and 2017 such increases killed almost 40,000 additional people.

(Copyright image, 2014)

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Is driving on the left safer than driving on the right?

In all North American countries the law is literally one-sided:  ‘drive on the right.’  But in our corporate ‘defensive’ and ‘advanced’ driver training courses at Advanced Drivers of North America, we are very frequently asked which is safer — driving on the left or the right.

Drive-on-the-left traffic in Britain.
Far more people drive on the left in the world than many realise, and this is because India is one of the countries concerned. In this photograph from England, traffic is shown on the M6 motorway.  (Copyright image, 2014.)

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Drivers do NOT ‘Cause’ Over 90 Percent of Crashes – Misquoting it is Bad!

Even on the fringes of road safety, most people now understand that we should use the word ‘crashes’, not accidents, but there are many other important topics where there is still confusion and inaccuracy.  This includes the proportion of crashes that are — quote — ’caused’ by driver error, or less accurately, human error.

Almost certainly driver error but for example it could have been due to a brake failure or even a medical emergency such as a heart attack. (Wikimedia Commons)

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