Road Safety

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Road Safety Campaigns

Our research team found some national road safety campaigns from India and the UK. They are the 'Sadak Suraksha Jeevan Raksha,' The 'Carvin Family: Life Without Zoë,' and the 'Child and Teen Education Campaign.'

Sadak Suraksha Jeevan Raksha’ meaning Road Safety Survival in English

KEY MESSAGE OF THE CAMPAIGN
In 2018, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) in India released a series of films; featuring Akshay Kumar, a popular Bollywood actor, on road safety campaign. In the three short films, Kumar, dressed as a constable, is seen penalizing traffic offenders.
MORTH's purpose with the road safety campaign was to "encourage commuters to follow traffic rules" to "build a better society free of accidents."
DELIVERY
The ‘Sadak Suraksha Jeevan Rakshacampaign included TV, radio, digital (YouTube and Instagram), and outdoor.

'The Carvin family: life without Zoë'

In 2017, 'THINK', the UK government agency charged with running road safety campaigns, released a short video in which the Carvin's family recounted their heart-breaking story on how they lost a loving mother and wife, Zoe to a driver texting at the wheel.
The purpose of the road safety campaign was to spread awareness around driving while texting with the slogan, "Nothing is so important it can’t wait. THINK Put your phone away," and reminds "drivers of the new stiffer penalty facing anyone caught using their phones at the wheel."
DELIVERY
The 'Carvin Family: Life Without Zoë' campaign included cinemas, billboards, radio, social media (Facebook and YouTube), and is supported by the ‘THINK’ website, which has more information on the road safety campaign, including laws and facts about mobile phones.

The 'Child and teen education campaign'

In 2018, THINK!, the UK governmental agency charged with running road safety campaigns, re-launched a three-minute video in which Sam Homewood, "children’s TV presenter and CITV star," is informing "children aged seven to 12 and teenagers aged 13 to 16" about road safety.
The road safety campaign was scheduled to launch before the school summer holidays and to coincide "with September’s 'back to school' period and road safety week in November." The sole purpose was to encourage teenagers to "speak up if they see their friends in a dangerous road situation" with the slogan, "‘stop, look, listen, think."
DELIVERY
The 'Child and Teen Education Campaign' was featured on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube), and is supported by the 'THINK' website, which has more information on the road safety campaign, as well as educational resources.

Campaigns' impacts

We started by examining several media sites, such as PR Week, Chronicle Live, ITV News, India West, and more, with articles discussing the campaigns above. Although there were other success metrics like the ‘Sadak Suraksha Jeevan Raksha’ winning the best advertising campaign of 2018, the various press publications do not mention any success impact on road safety attributed to the programmes. However, another news site in India, YourStory, claims that "Road safety campaigns have not been able to bring about a change in behavior and reduce the number of deaths and injuries suffered due to road accidents."
Next, we combed through the official websites of the bodies that launched the campaigns, 'THINK' in the UK, and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) in India, to locate likely success metrics. We navigated through the profiles of these campaigns in the websites in an attempt to establish their progress. Unfortunately, other than presenting the audiences of the programmes, as well as the aims and delivery, data directly targeting their success was not available.
Finally, as a last resort, we attempted to triangulate the perceived impact of the campaigns by looking at the general picture. For example, if we can determine the change in road accidents resulting from text driving or ignoring traffic rules within the last two years in the UK and India, respectively, we might put the weight of the results on the distinct programmes. Regrettably, after searching through Teen Safe, Statista, and other related statistical databases, this approach proved futile. Therefore, after searching extensively through credible media sites, industry reports, and official websites we determined that data regarding the success metrics of the campaigns above is largely unavailable because of a lack of studies done to resolve whether the road safety programmes implemented achieved the desired results.

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Roadside Safety Trends

Trends noted in roadside safety globally include an increase in number of road traffic deaths, a reduction in the adverse effects of increased motorized transport, and a significant increase in the number of pedestrian deaths. Other trends identified include cellphones increasingly contributing to crash deaths and there has been a reduction in the number of traffic deaths in the under 40 years age group. Below we have provided details of our research approach and detailed findings summarizing each of the seven trends identified.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

In order to provide some global trends in roadside safety, research started through sources that are known for their work on roadside safety. These sources include The International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) prepared by the International Transport Forum, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute, American Traffic Safety Services Association, and global agencies involved in road safety such as WHO and agencies of specific countries such as the budget department of Australia's report on Road safety.
Apart from the above-mentioned specialized sources, we also searched for road safety reports and articles published in reputable global media outlets such as The Washington Post, NY Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, and Deutsche Welle. We also looked for related academic periodicals and reports in researchgate and Academia.edu. Additionally, we looked for statistics and data points for the trends identified in data sources such as Statista.
For each of the trends identified, we determined they were trends by examining if they were phenomena that had happened in the same manner over a substantial period. Each trend presented in this report has occurred similarly for a considerable number of years. For example, the first two trends have followed the same pattern from 2000 to 2016. Similarly, the third trend has occured in the same pattern since 2013. All seven trends presented in this report are accompanied by robust data.

Increase in number of road traffic deaths

The number of road traffic deaths has continued to increase globally, however, the percentage of road traffic deaths relative to the global population has declined. According to the 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety published by the World Health Organization, there were 1.15 million reported road traffic deaths in 2000. The number of road traffic deaths increased gradually to reach 1.35 million in 2016. However, although there was an increase in terms of absolute numbers, the number of road traffic death per 100,000 population declined from 18.8 to 18.2 over the same time frame.

decline in the adverse effect of increased motorized transport

According to the aforementioned WHO report, death rates declined from 135 deaths for every 100,000 vehicles in 2000 to 64 deaths for every 100,000 vehicles in 2016. This reduction in deaths by a margin that is more than 50% (135 to 64) indicates improvements at a global level in reducing the adverse effect of increasing motorized transport on roadside safety. During this same period (2000 – 2016), the number of vehicles on the road increased significantly from 0.85 billion to 2.1 billion worldwide.

Reduction in traffic deaths

Since 2013, the number of road traffic deaths increased in 27 out of 28 low-income countries, while there was no change in one country. Additionally, out of 98 middle-income countries, the number of road traffic deaths decreased in 23 while there was no change in 15 of these countries. Additionally, in 60 out of 98 middle-income countries the number of road traffic death increased. There has been a reduction in the number of road traffic deaths in 25 out of 49 high-income countries. On the other hand, there has been no change in 7 high-income countries and an increase in the number of road traffic deaths in 17 high-income countries.

increase in number of pedestrian deaths

From 2008 to 2017, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States increased by 35% from 4,414 deaths in 2008 to 5,977 deaths in 2017. This was in strong contrast with the combined number of all other traffic deaths in the United States which declined by 6% over the same time period. As per estimates by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2018 was estimated to increase by 4% to reach 6,227 in 2017. This estimate was provided in continuation of the increasing trend that has been observed since 2009. If the 2017 estimate was actualized, that would be the largest annual number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States since 1990.

CellphoneS increasingly contribute to Crash Deaths

According to a survey report published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety-Highway Loss Data Institute, cellphone were a contributing factor in more than 800 crash deaths in 2017. Another survey showed that in 2018, drivers were 57% more likely to be manipulating a cellphone compared to drivers in 2014. Similarly, the percentage of drivers observed manipulating a phone rose from 2.3% in 2014 to 3.4% in 2018.

Road accident injuries are on a constant rise in Australia

In Australia, there was an 8.6% increase in the number of hospitalized injuries from road accidents from 2006 to 2013. Injuries sustained in road accidents were found to have 27 times higher fatality rates. In 2019, there have been concerns that this number would continue to rise. One of the significant drivers behind this rise in the number of hospitalized injuries from road accidents could be the focus of transport safety technologies in Australia on life-saving strategies rather than injury prevention.

Reduction in road fatalities in the under 40 age bracket in Australia

Between 2008 and 2017 there was a reduction in road fatalities in the under 40 age bracket in Australia. On the other hand, there has been an increase in the number of road fatalities in Australians older than 40 years. In 2008, the under 40 age bracket accounted for 56% of all road fatalities, however, this had reduced to 44% in 2017. Comparatively, road fatalities in the age group that is older than 40 years increased from 44% in 2008 to 56% in 2017.

ADDITIONAL TRENDS

We have provided the following additional roadside safety trends for IRTAD countries. These additional trends provide crucial information but they are not comprehensively supported by statistics.

  • The economic downturn and subsequent recovery which came in as aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis was associated with a decrease in the number of road deaths in IRTAD countries.
  • An increase in kilometers cycled was associated with significantly higher numbers of fatal cycling crashes in several countries.
  • Laxity in the enforcement of traffic rules was found to have caused speeding and drink-driving, ultimately leading to more crashes and traffic deaths.
  • There has been a notable increase in crashes due to the use of mobile phone or other digital devices while driving in IRTAD countries.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "The countries contributing data are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States."
Quotes
  • "In recent years, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States has grown sharply. During the 10-year period from 2008 to 2017, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by 35 percent (from 4,414 deaths in 2008 to 5,977 deaths in 2017); meanwhile, the combined number of all other traffic deaths declined by six percent. Along with the increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities, pedestrian deaths as a percentage of total motor vehicle crash deaths increased from 12 percent in 2008 to 16 percent in 2017."
  • "For the first six months of 2018 GHSA found a three percent increase in the reported number of pedestrian fatalities compared with the first six months of 2017. However, after adjusting for anticipated underreporting in the preliminary state data and considering the historic trends in pedestrian fatalities during the first and second halves of the year, GHSA estimates the nationwide number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2018 was 6,227, an increase of four percent from 2017. This projection represents a continuation of an increasing trend in pedestrian deaths going back to 2009 and would be the largest annual number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. since 1990."
Quotes
  • "Manipulating a cellphone was a contributing factor in more than 800 crash deaths on U.S. roads during 2017 amid a marked increase in the percentage of drivers observed interacting with cellphones, new IIHS research indicates. The estimated number of deaths, however, still represents a fraction of the overall crash death toll."
  • "Virginia drivers observed in a 2018 IIHS roadside survey were 57 percent more likely to be manipulating a cellphone than drivers in a 2014 survey. The percentage of drivers observed manipulating a phone rose from 2.3 percent in 2014 to 3.4 percent in 2018."
  • "At the same time, drivers were less likely to be seen simply holding a cellphone or talking on a hand-held phone than in the prior survey. The finding is consistent with research indicating that drivers are talking on hand-held phones less and fiddling with them more often than in recent years."
  • "In 2018, 3.7 percent of drivers in Northern Virginia were observed talking on a hand-held cellphone, compared with 4.1 percent of drivers in 2014, while 2.8 percent of drivers in 2018 were seen holding a cellphone, compared with 4.9 percent in the prior survey."
  • "The problem of distracted driving, especially cellphone use, continues to raise concerns. A 2018 national survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 64 percent of respondents consider distracted driving a much bigger problem today than it was three years ago."