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Sunday, 12th August 2007

Improving Traffic Safety Culture in the United States: The Journey Forward

Improving Traffic Safety Culture in the United States: The Journey Forward (PDF; 2.6 MB)
Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

All of the papers in this compendium focus on the general theme of "culture" in the context of motor vehicle traffic safety. As you will see, there is considerable variation in the scope and focus of individual papers, as well as the perspective from which they were written.

For example, the paper by Larry Lonero describes what a paradigm shift in road safety might look like, and provides some examples of "potentially catalytic steps" to provoke discussion. Another paper by McNeely and Gifford draws from experience in three other culturally defined problems to provide insights that could be applicable to traffic safety. The paper by Wiegmann, von Thaden, and Gibbons reviews the concepts and definitions of "safety culture" that are used in other high-risk industries, and discusses the potential applicability of these concepts and definitions to traffic safety.

Several of the papers discuss the role of culture in determining how people drive and suggest various avenues to promote safer driving cultures. Others focus on the policies and practices of various types of stakeholder groups that can influence traffic safety and provide suggestions regarding how they might be made more consistent with the respective authors' visions of cultures of safety. The wide array of issues--drawn from diverse perspectives --includes safety management, risk communication, the training of our safety workforce, and the importance of monitoring public perceptions of safety issues, just to name a few. Papers authored by top experts from Australia and the Netherlands add international perspective as well.


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