Traffic Accidents

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  • Aerial view of a highway junction at night, photo by DKart/Getty Images

    Essay

    How to End U.S. Roadway Deaths by 2050

    Jun 24, 2019

    Tens of thousands of people die on American roads every year. Bringing that number down to zero by 2050 is possible. We would have to change how we think about road safety, stop accepting car crashes as accidents, and make smart investments in technology.

  • An autonomous car scans the road and stops at a crosswalk

    Report

    How AV Safety Can Be Defined, Tested, and Measured

    Oct 11, 2018

    The race to introduce automated vehicles to consumers and communities is based on the promise that they will be safer than conventional vehicles. A new framework for measuring AV safety provides the public, automotive industry, and policymakers with clearer ways to discuss AV technology issues.

Explore Traffic Accidents

  • A road work sign on California Highway 101 north warns, "be prepared to stop"

    Commentary

    How to Make Roads Safer for Autonomous Vehicles

    No matter how much developers test autonomous vehicles, the world will still present unforeseen circumstances for vehicles to navigate. Roadways and vehicle design could be modified to better accommodate both human error and the shortcomings of autonomous vehicle systems.

    Feb 6, 2019

  • A self-driving car being developed by nuTonomy, a company creating software for autonomous vehicles, is guided down a street near their offices in Boston, Massachusetts, June 2, 2017

    Report

    Rethinking Insurance and Liability in the Transformative Age of Autonomous Vehicles

    What are the challenges and opportunities for the automobile insurance industry as autonomous vehicle technology becomes widely deployed? This workshop brought together industry stakeholders, regulators, and consumer representatives to focus on the implications of AV technology for insurance and liability regimes.

    Jun 8, 2018

  • Aerial view of a highway with cars and trucks in the middle of a green forest

    Report

    Could U.S. Road Deaths Reach Zero by 2050?

    Motor vehicle crashes kill more than 100 Americans every day and are the leading cause of death for people age 15 to 24. A strategy that includes changes in policy, technology, and social norms could substantially improve road safety and lead to zero roadway deaths by 2050.

    Apr 19, 2018

  • Report

    The Road to Zero: Executive Summary: A Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths by 2050

    Imagine that, in 2050, not a single person in the United States dies in a traffic crash. This executive summary to The Road to Zero: A Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths by 2050 describes how that might be possible.

    Apr 19, 2018

  • A tired teen girl driving a car

    Commentary

    Teens Are Driving Drowsy Every Day, and That's Dangerous

    About 1 in 10 car crashes are caused by drowsy driving, and young drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 account for more than half of them. Many parents unwittingly allow their teens to drive while tired on a daily basis.

    Mar 12, 2018

  • Car accident on the side of the road

    Tool

    Motor Vehicle Prioritizing Interventions and Cost Calculator for States (MV PICCS)

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated interactive Motor Vehicle Prioritizing Interventions and Cost Calculator for States can help state decisionmakers prioritize motor vehicle injury-prevention interventions.

    Feb 2, 2018

  • Tool

    Costs and Effectiveness of Interventions to Reduce Motor Vehicle–Related Injuries and Deaths: Supplement to Tool Documentation

    This report documents the update of an online tool to help assess costs and effectiveness of implementing up to 14 interventions and select those most effective in reducing death and injury from motor vehicle crashes for a given budget.

    Feb 2, 2018

  • A self-driving car being developed by nuTonomy

    Article

    Why Waiting for Perfect Autonomous Vehicles May Cost Lives

    Some people think autonomous vehicles must be flawless before humans take their hands off the wheel. But putting AVs on the road before they're perfect improves the technology more quickly—and could save hundreds of thousands of lives over time.

    Nov 7, 2017

  • Multimedia

    How Safe Should Autonomous Vehicles Be Before They're Introduced to Market?

    RAND researchers Nidhi Kalra and David G. Groves developed a model to compare 500 different scenarios of autonomous vehicle introduction, adoption, and improvement. The research shows that putting autonomous vehicles on the road sooner, allowing them to improve quicker, could save hundreds of thousands of lives over time.

    Nov 7, 2017

  • News Release

    Introducing Autonomous Vehicles Sooner Could Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives Over Time

    Autonomous vehicles should only have to be moderately better than human drivers before being widely used in the United States, an approach that could save thousands of lives annually even before the technology is perfected.

    Nov 7, 2017

  • A still image from the Autonomous Vehicle Safety Scenario Explorer tool showing a line and bar chart, comparing future scenarios with autonomous vehicles against a future without AVs.

    Tool

    Autonomous Vehicle Safety Scenario Explorer

    How safe should autonomous vehicles be before they are allowed on the road for consumer use? To help explore answers to that question, the Safety Scenario Explorer compares future scenarios and estimates the resulting fatalities against a future without autonomous vehicles.

    Nov 7, 2017

  • A self-driving car (L) being developed by nuTonomy, a company creating software for autonomous vehicles, is guided down a street near their offices in Boston, Massachusetts, June 2, 2017

    Report

    Model of Automated Vehicle Safety (MAVS)

    The safety of autonomous vehicles is a principal concern for the transportation industry, policymakers, and the public. Comparing the impact on road fatalities under many different scenarios can help understand the circumstances in which autonomous vehicles can provide the greatest safety benefit.

    Nov 7, 2017

  • A self-driving Uber drives in Pittsburgh during a media preview

    Report

    Deploying Autonomous Vehicles Before They're Perfect Will Save More Lives

    Autonomous vehicles should only have to be moderately better than human drivers before being widely used in the United States. This approach could save thousands of lives annually even before the technology is perfected.

    Nov 7, 2017

  • An autonomous version of Acura's RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD stops for a simulated pedestrian crossing at carmaker Honda's testing grounds at the GoMentum Station autonomous vehicle test facility in Concord, California, June 1, 2016

    Report

    How Should Autonomous Vehicles Be Regulated?

    Autonomous vehicles could greatly reduce the risk of crashes. But the safety benefits are not yet proven and may not be known until AVs are widespread. What kind of regulatory approach could help balance innovation, risk, and uncertainty?

    Sep 18, 2017

  • Multimedia

    Challenges and Approaches to Realizing Autonomous Vehicle Safety

    An overview of testimony by Nidhi Kalra submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection on February 14, 2017.

    Feb 14, 2017

  • An illustration of autonomous cars on a road

    Testimony

    Realizing Autonomous Vehicle Safety

    Autonomous vehicles hold enormous promise for transportation safety. But feasible, sound methods of testing need to be developed. In the meantime, policymakers should work to foster the development of self-driving vehicles while lowering their risks.

    Feb 14, 2017

  • A highway at night under a starry sky

    Infographic

    Don't Rely on Test-Driving Alone to Assess Autonomous Vehicle Safety

    Americans drive three trillion miles a year, causing one death every 100 million miles. To prove that autonomous vehicles are safer than humans, they would have to be test-driven astronomical distances. Regulators should pursue other ways of reducing uncertainty about AV safety.

    Jan 9, 2017

  • A prototype of Google's self-driving vehicle is seen in Mountain View, California, September 29, 2015

    Testimony

    Shaping the Future of Autonomous Vehicles

    More than 90 percent of car crashes are caused by human errors. Will self-driving vehicles help mitigate this risk? To answer this question, experts must address how safety is measured and determine the threshold of safety required before autonomous vehicles are on the roads.

    Nov 16, 2016

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