Creating a Total Safety Traffic Culture

For more than two decades, Geller and associates have used the concept of a Total Safety Culture to create significant and lasting safety improvements in a variety of industrial contexts. In a Total Safety Culture, the organization’s members feel responsible for regularly identifying and acting on safety-related objectives, many going “beyond the call of duty” to address unsafe conditions and behaviors. This paper addresses the application of the Total Safety Culture notion to traffic safety issues and discusses the creation of a Total Safety Traffic Culture. Behavior-based safety, an actively caring model, and the benefits of using positive reinforcement are highlighted. Catalysts and barriers to a cultural shift are considered throughout, as is the need to teach basic behavioral-science methods throughout our culture. The ideas offered herein can be used to identify specific problem targets, customize and validate intervention designs, derive relevant outcome measures, and demonstrate successive progress while traffic safety goals are continuously selected and achieved. Additionally, these behavior-change methods are easy to teach and use, inexpensive to execute, self-sustaining, and thus, are practical for large-scale application. Using locally informed, nationally endorsed, and socially valid interventions, an individualized approach to traffic safety can transform society’s traffic safety orientation, bringing about an interdependent safety culture where everyone helps to prevent the tragic consequences of vehicle crashes.

  • 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:
    • Dula, Chris S
    • Geller, E Scott
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2008


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 23p
  • 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: 01109046
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 19 2008 1:50PM