The United States has capabilities to assist developing countries with the problem. Over decades of motorization, it has developed professional and institutional strengths across many sectors: data systems, road and vehicle standards, emergency medical care, intervention programs, and enforcement and adjudication.
U.S. engagement with the problem, occurring through the efforts of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, is at a low level compared with the scale of the problem. Activities in some agencies are aimed principally at protecting U.S. citizens traveling abroad as workers or tourists. Other government activities address aspects of the problem that affect trade and commerce, such as vehicle safety standards and cross-border trucking operations. Some assistance is provided to developing nations for research, data systems, and professional exchanges. U.S. agencies participate in road safety programs of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, although the scale of these multilateral efforts has been modest. U.S. nongovernmental organizations are participating in technical exchange and public communication programs in developing countries.
According to government participants, stronger and more systematic collaboration among U.S. agencies and between government and private entities would increase the effectiveness of U.S. efforts. Such collaboration is important because the most effective actions would involve several sectors, including transportation, health care, emergency services, law enforcement, and education.
If the United States became more engaged in efforts to reduce global road traffic injuries, it might be able to increase the effectiveness of its contributions by learning from the experience of other nations and international organizations. That experience indicates that the most effective interventions focus on institutional capacity building in the transportation, health, enforcement, and public administration sectors; entail long-term commitments by all parties; and incorporate monitoring and evaluation of outcomes.
U.S. programs also could derive lessons from the response to other global health crises, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The lag between recognition of the epidemic and the scaling up of a meaningful response