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Factors Contributing to Median Encroachments and Cross-Median Crashes

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Factors Contributing to Median Encroachments and Cross-Median Crashes
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 790: Factors Contributing to Median Encroachments and Cross-Median Crashes investigates the factors that contribute to median-related crashes and identifies design treatments and countermeasures that can be applied to improve median safety on divided highways.

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Vital Signs: Health Burden and Medical Costs of Nonfatal Injuries to Motor Vehicle Occupants — United States, 2012

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Vital Signs: Health Burden and Medical Costs of Nonfatal Injuries to Motor Vehicle Occupants — United States, 2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Background:
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death and injury in the United States. The purpose of this study was to describe the current health burden and medical and work loss costs of nonfatal crash injuries among vehicle occupants in the United States.

Methods:
CDC analyzed data on emergency department (ED) visits resulting from nonfatal crash injuries among vehicle occupants in 2012 using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System – All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP) and the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS). The number and rate of all ED visits for the treatment of crash injuries that resulted in the patient being released and the number and rate of hospitalizations for the treatment of crash injuries were estimated, as were the associated number of hospital days and lifetime medical and work loss costs.

Results:
In 2012, an estimated 2,519,471 ED visits resulted from nonfatal crash injuries, with an estimated lifetime medical cost of $18.4 billion (2012 U.S. dollars). Approximately 7.5% of these visits resulted in hospitalizations that required an estimated 1,057,465 hospital days in 2012.

Conclusions:
Nonfatal crash injuries occur frequently and result in substantial costs to individuals, employers, and society. For each motor vehicle crash death in 2012, eight persons were hospitalized, and 100 were treated and released from the ED.

Implications for Public Health:
Public health practices and laws, such as primary seat belt laws, child passenger restraint laws, ignition interlocks to prevent alcohol impaired driving, sobriety checkpoints, and graduated driver licensing systems have demonstrated effectiveness for reducing motor vehicle crashes and injuries. They might also substantially reduce associated ED visits, hospitalizations, and medical costs.

New Report Shows Mounting Evidence of Millennials’ Shift Away From Driving

October 15, 2014 Comments off

New Report Shows Mounting Evidence of Millennials’ Shift Away From Driving
Source: USPIRG

A new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Education Fund and the Frontier Group shows mounting evidence that the Millennial generation’s dramatic shift away from driving is more than temporary. While the 2000s saw a marked decrease in the average number of miles traveled by young Americans, the study explains that those trends appear likely to continue even as the economy improves – in light of the consistency of Millennials’ surveyed preferences, a continued reduction of Millennials driving to work, and the continued decreases in per-capita driving among all Americans.

U.S. Fuel Economy Reaches All-Time High/Fuel economy gains for new vehicles continue under President Obama’s Clean Car Program

October 9, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Fuel Economy Reaches All-Time High/Fuel economy gains for new vehicles continue under President Obama’s Clean Car Program
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

New vehicles achieved an all-time-high fuel economy in 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency announced today. Model year 2013 vehicles achieved an average of 24.1 miles per gallon (mpg) — a 0.5 mpg increase over the previous year and an increase of nearly 5 mpg since 2004. Fuel economy has now increased in eight of the last nine years. The average carbon dioxide emissions are also at a record low of 369 grams per mile in model year 2013.

EPA’s annual “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2014” report tracks average fuel economy of new cars and SUVs sold in the United States. The report also ranks automakers’ achievements in model year 2013.

Some additional top-line findings from the report:

·The recent fuel economy improvement is a result of automakers’ rapid adoption of more efficient technologies such as gasoline direct injection engines, turbochargers, and advanced transmissions.
·Mazda vehicles averaged the highest fuel economy and lowest greenhouse gas emissions
·Nissan achieved the greatest improvement in average fuel economy and greenhouse gas reductions
·SUVs achieved the greatest improvement in all classes of new personal vehicles.

Imperfect Hands-Free Systems Causing Potentially-Unsafe Driver Distractions

October 8, 2014 Comments off

Imperfect Hands-Free Systems Causing Potentially-Unsafe Driver Distractions
Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

With three out of four drivers believing that hands-free technology is safe to use, Americans may be surprised to learn that these popular new vehicle features may actually increase mental distraction, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This research can serve as guidance to manufacturers who increasingly market hands-free systems as safety features. The good news for consumers is that it is possible to design hands-free technologies that are less cognitively distracting, according to the research.

New Research Reveals Local Government Officials Need to Get Up to Speed on Parking

October 6, 2014 Comments off

New Research Reveals Local Government Officials Need to Get Up to Speed on Parking
Source: International Parking Institute

A new survey of city and county officials shows that more than half are unaware of new parking technologies that can help alleviate traffic congestion, promote sustainability, and increase revenues, but they are eager to bridge that knowledge gap.

Conducted by American City & County magazine with the International Parking Institute (IPI), the survey asked local government decision-makers, about their jurisdictions’ parking challenges and knowledge of latest parking innovations.

The survey revealed a significant need and desire for basic knowledge and guidance on parking. Most respondents were not familiar with today’s parking technology and how it can benefit their municipalities.

Forty-four percent expressed dissatisfaction with their use of technology, and 55 percent said their city or county did not use any of 13 technologies listed in the survey. These included pay-by-mobile parking options; meters that accept credit cards; wayfinding and guidance systems that indicate space availability; systems that enhance traffic management through use of data collection and wireless technology; and sustainable solutions such as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, solar panels, and motion-sensor lighting.

Surprisingly few cities and counties have undertaken a critical examination of their own parking operations. Just 30 percent had conducted a parking study in the last five years; 12 percent had never conducted a study; and 22 percent did not know if or when a study might have been conducted.

Analysis of Naturalistic Driving Study Data: Safer Glances, Driver Inattention, and Crash Risk

October 2, 2014 Comments off

Analysis of Naturalistic Driving Study Data: Safer Glances, Driver Inattention, and Crash Risk
Source: Transportation Research Board

This research aims to determine the relationship between driver inattention and crash risk in lead-vehicle precrash scenarios. It seeks to develop inattention-risk relationships describing how an increase in inattention performance variables combines with context in lead-vehicle precrash scenarios to increase risk. The inattention-risk relationships are intended to show which glance behaviors are safer than others and pinpoint the most dangerous glances away from the road. The results should support distraction policy, regulation, guidelines; improve intelligent vehicle safety systems; and teach safe glance behaviors.

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