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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Identification of Factors Contributing to the Decline of Traffic Fatalities in the United States from 2008 to 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25590.
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© 2019 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research for this document was conducted through one or more programs administered by the Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine:  Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) research is sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program (HMCRP) research is sponsored by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).  National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP) research is sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology.  National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) research is sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  National Cooperative Rail Research Program (NCRRP) research is sponsored by the Federal Railroad Administration.  Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) research is sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply endorsement by TRB and any of its program sponsors of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. DISCLAIMER To facilitate more timely dissemination of research findings, this pre-publication document is taken directly from the submission of the research agency. The material has not been edited by TRB. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this document are those of the researchers who performed the research. They are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board, the National Academies, and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers’ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. This pre-publication document IS NOT an official publication of the Cooperative Research Programs; the Transportation Research Board; or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Recommended citation: Blower, D., C. Flannagan, S. Geedipally, D. Lord, and R. Wunderlich. 2019. Identification of Factors Contributing to the Decline of Traffic Fatalities in the United States from 2008 to 2012. Pre-publication draft of NCHRP Research Report 928. Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.

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Identification of Factors Contributing to the Decline of Traffic Fatalities in the United States from 2008 to 2012 Get This Book
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Between 2005 and 2011, the number of traffic fatalities in the U.S. declined by 11,031, from 43,510 in 2005 to 32,479 in 2011. This decline amounted to a reduction in traffic-related deaths of 25.4 percent, by far the greatest decline over a comparable period in the last 30 years.

Historically, significant drops in traffic fatalities over a short period of time have coincided with economic recessions. Longer recessions have coincided with deeper declines in the number of traffic fatalities. This report from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, NCHRP Research Report 928: Identification of Factors Contributing to the Decline of Traffic Fatalities in the United States from 2008 to 2012, provides an analysis that identifies the specific factors in the economic decline that affected fatal crash risk, while taking into account the long-term factors that determine the level of traffic safety.

A key insight into the analysis of the factors that produced the sharp drop in traffic fatalities was that the young contributed disproportionately to the drop-off in traffic fatalities. Of the reduction in traffic fatalities from 2007 to 2011, people 25-years-old and younger accounted for nearly 48 percent of the drop, though they were only about 28 percent of total traffic fatalities prior to the decline. Traffic deaths among people 25-years-old and younger dropped substantially more than other groups. Young drivers are known to be a high-risk group and can be readily identified in the crash data. Other high-risk groups also likely contributed to the decline but they cannot be identified as well as age can.

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