Road User Behavior

The California Speeding and Aggressive Driving Study 2019

September 24, 2019

UC Berkeley SafeTREC is excited to release the California Speeding and Aggressive Driving Study 2019 led by Ewald & Wasserman Research Consultants (E&W). This study was conducted on behalf of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) at the University of California, Berkeley.  

Reflections on the 2019 Safe Systems Summit: Redefining Transportation Safety

June 7, 2019

According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 37,133 traffic fatalities on U.S. roadways in 2017, a 1.8-percent decrease from the 37,806 people killed in 2016. While there has been a general downward trend downward in traffic fatalities overall, this is still an alarmingly high number of deaths – and there have been troubling increases for vulnerable road users like pedestrians.

National Tribal Symposium to Advance Transportation: Crash Data Collection and Analysis

May 30, 2019

From May 14-16, 2019 tribal, federal, state, and industry leaders from across the United States who are working on the tribal transportation issues and challenges gathered in San Diego, California for the National Tribal Symposium to Advance Transportation.

SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Speeding-Related Collisions

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2018

A speeding-related collision is defined as one in which a driver is racing, driving too fast for the conditions, or driving in excess of the posted speed limit. In the United States, speeding has been involved in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes for more than twenty years and is a leading contributing factor in traffic collisions. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects, reduces the amount of time a driver has to react to a dangerous situation, and extends safe stopping distances.

SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Drug-Involved Driving

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2018

The use of cannabis and prescription and other drugs are increasingly prominent on our roadways, where 16.2 percent of the nation’s 37,461 fatalities in 2016 were related to drug-involved driving. In the United States, several states have legalized the use of medical and/or recreational cannabis, increasing concerns about traffic safety. Aside from alcohol, cannabis is the most frequently detected drug in drivers who are involved in collisions. The impact of drugs on the brain and behavior varies considerably depending on the type of drug and how it is metabolized.

SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Motorcycle Safety

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2018

In 2016, there were 5,286 motorcycle riders killed on public roadways in the United States, a 5.1 percent increase from 2015. Motorcyclists are at greater risk of injury during collisions—in 2016, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to be fatally injured in a traffic collision, per vehicle miles traveled. In 2016 only 65.3 percent of U.S. motorcyclists wore helmets.

SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Seat Belt Use

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2018

Restraint devices such as seat belts are a key element of motor vehicle occupant protection systems. According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), in 2016 there was a 90.1 percent front seat belt use rate for the nation as a whole, a 1.8 percent increase over the 88.5 percent reported in 2015. Front seat belt use was slightly higher among women (92.5 percent) compared with men (88.2 percent). Front passengers were more likely to use seat belts (90.1 percent) than rear seat occupants (80.6 percent).

SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Emergency Medical Services

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2018

In 2016, there were 34,439 fatal crashes and countless more injury crashes in the United States. Increased coordination between first responders, hospitals, and other traffic safety stakeholders, along with better-quality Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data collection, would enhance planning efforts to improve first responder time to collisions. In emergency medicine, practitioners have a “golden hour,” sometimes less, following traumatic injury wherein prompt medical attention offers the highest chance to prevent death.

SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Aging Road Users

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2018

In 2016, a total of 6,764 people age 65 and older were killed in collisions nationwide, which is a 7% increase from 6,238 in 2015. The older adult population of the United States—those 65 and older—is expected to nearly double between 2012 and 2050, from 43.1 million to 83.7 million. The older population accounted for 15.2 percent of residents in the U.S. and 18.8 percent of all licensed drivers in 2016.