Roadway dangers are a reality for all motorists. Certain groups, however, are over-represented in crash statistics. By better understanding the unique challenges these groups face, researchers can help find new and better ways to provide added measures of protection.
Crashes claim more teenage lives each year than any other cause. CTS researchers have examined the trends and unique risk factors for this group, leading to the development of Teens in the Driver Seat. After implementing the peer-based TDS program to augment the state’s Graduated Driver License law, Texas has seen a steady decline in teen-driver fatal crashes.
Age-related declines in vision, reaction time and physical ability can make the driving experience more hazardous. CTS researchers study the full range of topics affecting this group – from infrastructure to sign comprehension to licensing – in pursuit of the most practical and effective means to meet the specialized needs of older motorists.
Ongoing careful analysis of motorcycle crash trends has provided a foundation for a statewide campaign to improve motorist awareness of motorcycles. The CTS also conducts observational studies of helmet use, and coordinates an annual safety forum, bringing together safety professionals as well as motorcycle users. In the wake of these efforts, data suggest that motorcycle crashes are declining in Texas after a decade-long upward trend.
By helping to develop and implement the Safe Routes to School program, CTS researchers are promoting walking and biking as healthy and safe transportation modes for one of society’s most vulnerable groups.
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