Addressing Behavioral Elements in Traffic Safety

The purpose of this paper is to describe a better way to go about the enterprise of altering the behavior of drivers, where far less progress has been made than in the engineering of safer roads and vehicles. In thinking about doing so, the concept “traffic-safety culture” is quite appropriate. In a sense, this paper presents the argument that a traffic-safety culture should involve a reordered set of values, different beliefs from those that are now common, and, as a consequence, altered norms for appropriate behavior of its members. This applies whether the notion of a traffic-safety culture is narrowly constrained to professionals working in the traffic-safety domain or is more broadly defined to incorporate much of the population of a nation. The fundamental point presented here is that to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries, we must take a far more enlightened approach to developing and implementing programs and policies than is presently the case. To achieve meaningful declines will require taking advantage of the vast stores of scientific understanding that are currently overlooked. The following paper includes a brief description of how we presently operate, why the current approach works poorly, why it occasionally succeeds, a listing of several pertinent well-established fundamental principles of human behavior, and a suggestion for how we can do better in the future.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)

    Washington, DC  United States 

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Foss, Robert
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2008


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Monograph Title: Compendium of Technical Papers. ITE 2008 Technical Conference and Exhibit, March 30-April 2, 2008, Miami, Florida

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01109065
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2008 8:42AM