2014 - Research

Active Transportation: Do Current Traffic Safety Policies Protect Non-Motorists?

This study investigated the impact that state traffic safety regulations have on non-motorist fatality rates.

  • Data obtained from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) were analyzed through a pooled time series cross-sectional model using fixed effects regression for all 50 states from 1999 to 2009.
  • Two dependent variables were used in separate models measuring annual state non-motorist fatalities per million population, and the natural log of state non-motorist fatalities. Independent variables measuring traffic policies included state expenditures for highway law enforcement and safety per capita; driver cell phone use regulations; graduated driver license regulations; driver blood alcohol concentration regulations; bike helmet regulations; and seat belt regulations. Other control variables included percent of all vehicle miles driven that are urban and mean per capita alcohol consumption per year
  • Non-motorist traffic safety was positively impacted by state highway law enforcement and safety expenditures per capita, with a decrease in non-motorist fatalities occurring with increased spending. Per capita consumption of alcohol also influenced non-motorist fatalities, with higher non-motorist fatalities occurring with higher per capita consumption of alcohol. Other traffic safety covariates did not appear to have a significant impact on non-motorist fatality rates in the models
  • The research suggests that increased expenditures on state highway and traffic safety and the initiation/expansion of programs targeted at curbing both driver and non-motorist intoxication are a starting point for the implementation of traffic safety policies that reduce risks for non-motorists.

Emily M. Madera, Cathleen D. Zickb. (2014). Active Transportation: Do Current Traffic Safety Policies Protect Non-Motorists? Accident  Analysis & Prevention, 4 Feb 2014. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2014.01.022