Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Progress Towards Vision Zero - Using Data to Decrease Traffic Deaths

Image Credit: NYC.gov

Across the United States, cities are joining the Vision Zero movement to help eliminate pedestrian and cyclist deaths and serious injuries. Vision Zero asserts that no traffic deaths are acceptable and participating cities are using data to help identify collision hot spots throughout the transportation network to inform where improvements are best implemented. Improvements to the pedestrian and bicycle network include wider sidewalks, shorter crosswalks, and clearer road markings.

Some cities, including New York and San Francisco, have experienced preliminary progress toward the goals of Vision Zero; however, there is still a long way to go. In some cases, improvements are not made in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods for pedestrians and cyclists. In New York, pedestrians in the ten poorest neighborhoods are nine percent more likely to be injured or killed in traffic accidents compared to all residential neighborhoods as a whole. 

Historically, pertinent data has proven difficult to collect and often requires an injury or death to identify areas in need of improvement. However, new data sources, including mobile phone apps, may provide useful data without the need for a collision. For instance, the mobile app Zendrive is able to sense risky driving behaviors such as excessive speed, aggressive acceleration, hard braking, and risky phone use. A decrease in these risky driving behaviors may indicate a safer road network for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists.

Learn more about the vision zero movement or learn about Colorado's plan for achieving zero traffic deaths

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