Using Causal Loop Diagrams to Identify and Represent the Factors that Contribute to Road Trauma

Research is beginning to show the merits of considering the broader road transport system when attempting to understand and prevent road trauma. As a result, questions have been raised regarding the knowledge base around crash causation and drivers’ engagement in behaviors that are known to lead to road crashes. This study involved the use of causal loop diagrams to identify and represent the network of factors underpinning drivers’ engagement in the behaviors that are known to lead to crashes and trauma: drink and drug driving, driving while distracted, driving while fatigued, speeding, and failure to wear a seatbelt. CLDs were developed initially by the research team and were subsequently reviewed and refined during a road safety subject matter expert workshop. The causal loop diagrams show that there are a range of interacting factors that influence drivers’ engagement in the fatal five behaviors. Importantly the analyses reveal that there are a series of wider societal and public health issues that will continue to push adverse driver behaviors regardless of road safety interventions. These include alcohol and illegal and legal drug addiction, an increasing societal pressure to remain connected, time poor lifestyles and work pressures. It is concluded an integrated public health approach, incorporating better collaboration between public health and road safety stakeholders, is required. In particular, the findings indicate that road safety interventions should move beyond enforcement, education and engineering to encompass a broader focus on societal and public health issues.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ANB10 Standing Committee on Transportation Safety Management.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Salmon, Paul
    • McClure, Roderick
    • Read, Gemma J M
    • Hulme, Adam
    • Thompson, Jason
    • McLean, Scott
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 13p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697578
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-01477
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:31AM