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Copyright 2004 by Leonard Evans

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Contents

Preface / xiii

1  Introduction / 1

Traffic safety a grossly underemphasized problem / 1

The sinking of the Titanic / 2

Terminology / 6

Simple questions without simple answers / 9

Poisson distribution / 12

Three levels of knowledge / 15

Summary and conclusions / 16

References for Chapter 1 / 17

2  Data sources / 19

Introduction / 19

Fatalities / 19

Non-fatal injuries / 22

Crash severity damage to vehicles / 25

How reliable are injury reports? / 28

Summary and conclusions / 34

References for Chapter 2 / 34

3  Overview of traffic fatalities / 36

The beginnings / 36

Long term trends / 37

Who is killed? / 44

Number of vehicles / 48

Fraction of deaths due to rollover and ejection / 49

Fatalities according to seating position / 51

Variation throughout year and day / 57

Someone does NOT get killed every 13 minutes / 58

Caution in interpreting averages / 60

Summary and conclusions / 61

References for Chapter 3 / 62

4  Vehicle mass and size / 63

Introduction / 63

Vehicle factors / 63

Two-vehicle crashes / 67

Effect of mass in two-car crashes / 68

Other vehicles / 75

Separating causal roles of mass and size / 77

Single-vehicle crashes / 85

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) / 88

Total safety, vehicle type, vehicle mass / 91

Summary and conclusions / 95

References for Chapter 4 / 96

5  Environment, roadway, and vehicle / 98

Introduction / 98

Weather / 98

Roadway / 102

Vehicle factors / 107

Summary and conclusions / 116

References for Chapter 5 / 117

Gender, age, and alcohol effects on survival / 120

Introduction / 120

Gender and survivability / 120

Age and survivability / 132

Gender and age effects determined using two-car crashes / 137

Alcohol consumption and survivability / 141

Summary and conclusions / 144

References for Chapter 6 / 145

7  Older drivers / 147

Introduction / 147

Changing risks drivers face as they age / 148

Threat to other road users / 156

Pedestrian involvements in fatal and severe crashes / 157

Cross sectional compared to longitudinal analyses / 160

Traffic deaths relative to all deaths / 161

Types of crashes / 163

Risk comparisons using specific examples / 166

The older driver problem how is it changing? / 170

The younger driver problem / 171

Summary and conclusions / 171

References for Chapter 7 / 172

8  Driver performance / 174

Introduction / 174

Components of the driving task / 174

Reaction times / 181

An example illustrating reaction time and braking / 182

Rear impact crashes / 184

Driving simulators / 187

Acquisition of driving skill / 190

Driver education and training / 197

Graduated driver licenses / 199

Summary and conclusions / 201

References for Chapter 8 / 202

9  Driver behavior / 206

Introduction / 206

Racing drivers compared to average drivers / 207

Effect of speed on risk / 209

Demographic factors related to risk taking in traffic / 217

Personality factors and crash rates / 220

Non-transport motives / 223

Family influence / 225

Crime rates and crash rates / 226

Gender differences in risk taking by babies and children / 227

Crashes, crimes, and testosterone / 230

Summary and conclusions / 233

References for Chapter 9 / 234

10  Alcohol / 237

Introduction / 237

Measurement of alcohol / 238

Absorption and elimination of alcohol / 241

How alcohol affects humans / 243

Crash risk and alcohol / 246

Drunk driving countermeasures involving criminal sanctions / 252

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) / 257

Availability of alcohol / 258

Cost of alcohol / 260

Alcohol sales / 261

Alcohol advertising / 261

Tax and advertising policies that would save lives / 263

Reasonable approaches to harmful substances / 264

Summary and conclusions / 265

References for Chapter 10 / 266

11  Occupant protection / 270

Why people get hurt in crashes basic biomechanics / 270

Goal of occupant protection / 271

Occupant protection devices / 272

Effectiveness definitions / 273

Concepts central to all occupant protection devices / 274

Difficulties in estimating safety belt effectiveness / 277

When-used effectiveness of safety belts / 279

Effectiveness of other occupant protection devices / 283

Estimating field effectiveness / 287

Selective recruitment / 289

Belt wearing laws / 295

Repeal of mandatory motorcycle helmet wearing laws / 298

Occupant-protection issues / 300

Summary and conclusions / 305

References for Chapter 11 / 305

12  Airbag benefits, airbag costs / 309

Introduction / 309

Overview of frontal airbags / 310

Airbag benefits, airbag costs / 314

Other airbag costs / 322

Fundamental flaw in estimating benefits of airbags / 326

What happens to airbag benefits if belt use increases? / 327

Other issues / 328

Summary and conclusions / 329

References for Chapter 12 / 329

13  Measures to improve traffic safety / 332

Introduction / 332

Factors influencing traffic safety / 333

The dominant role of driver behavior / 338

Interactive effects / 347

Contrast with airline safety / 353

Relative importance of factors / 355

Summary and conclusions / 356

References for Chapter 13 / 356

14  How you can reduce your risk / 359

Introduction / 359

Average behavior produces average crash risk / 360

Most drivers think they are better than other drivers / 361

Crashes and driver responsibility / 364

Rear-impact crashes / 366

Other traffic situations / 373

Vehicle choice / 375

Incentives to decrease or increase crash likelihood / 376

Summary and conclusions / 379

References for Chapter 14 / 380

15  The dramatic failure of US safety policy / 381

Introduction / 381

The US compared to other countries / 381

Search for an explanation / 389

Irrelevance of numbers and technical knowledge / 390

The airbag mandate / 392

Issues surrounding airbags and the mandate / 396

Where is US safety policy now? / 401

The importance of what the public believes / 402

Specific differences / 404

Epilogue / 407

Summary and conclusions / 408

References for Chapter 15 / 409

16  Vision for a safer tomorrow / 412

Introduction / 412

The two most important factors / 413

The extraordinary safety of commercial aviation / 414

Enforcement / 416

Enforcement using newer technology / 417

Driving is a public, not a private, activity / 419

Policy and automatic monitoring / 420

Other changes / 422

Summary and conclusions / 424

References for Chapter 16 / 425

 

Index / 427

 

About the author / 445