Addressing Behavioral Elements in Traffic Safety: A Recommended Approach

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. This 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.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 148-163
  • Monograph Title: Improving Traffic Safety Culture in the United States - The Journey Forward

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01051435
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2007 10:20AM