Ideas from Around the Globe for Reducing Traffic Deaths

Dec 14, 2012, 1:21 PM

U.S. Department of Transportation research shows that traffic deaths fell out of the top ten causes of death in 2008 and 2009, the last year for which there is available data. But tens of thousands of car-related deaths still occur in the United States each year. Researchers are in constant pursuit of new car features and driver/pedestrian education that would drop that number considerably.

A recent issue of New York Magazine looked at traffic deaths in the city, as well as U.S. and worldwide innovations that could significantly bring down the numbers of people hurt and killed in traffic-related collisions.

Among the interesting ideas:

  • More sidewalk cafes. Researchers say activity on streets reminds drivers that people are present and they need to slow down.
  • Sensors in traffic lights that keep them from turning red until the person who started in the intersection when it was green has safely crossed the street.

NewPublicHealth has written extensively about the intersection of traffic safety and public health, including a talk with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood as part of our National Prevention Strategy Series.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.