Center for Transportation Safety Director Robert Wunderlich was a featured speaker at last week’s North Carolina Traffic Safety Conference and Expo. His presentation, The Ups and Downs and Ins and Outs of Traffic Fatalities in the United States, examined the primary factors related to the significant decrease in fatalities in the United States from 2005 to 2011 and why fatalities are on the rise again across America.
His presentation was based on research conducted under National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 17-67, which used statistical models to explore the role of safety and capital spending, economic factors, safety laws, and vehicle improvements in fatalities. The primary factors and potential mechanisms they act through were explained, and the implications for improving road safety were discussed. The presentation also discussed cost-effective infrastructure and behavioral programs that hold promise for improving traffic safety.