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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8123-8136; doi:10.3390/ijerph110808123

Toward an Effective Long-Term Strategy for Preventing Motor Vehicle Crashes and Injuries

1
School of Health Sciences, College of Public Service, Jackson State University, 350 West Woodrow Wilson Avenue, Room 229, Jackson, MS 39213, USA
2
Henry Hill Drive, Suite 2, Jackson, MS 39204, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 24 June 2014 / Accepted: 18 July 2014 / Published: 11 August 2014
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Abstract

Casualties due to motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) include some 40,000 deaths each year in the United States and one million deaths worldwide. One strategy that has been recommended for improving automobile safety is to lower speed limits and enforce them with speed cameras. However, motor vehicles can be hazardous even at low speeds whereas properly protected human beings can survive high-speed crashes without injury. Emphasis on changing driver behavior as the focus for road safety improvements has been largely unsuccessful; moreover, drivers today are increasingly distracted by secondary tasks such as cell phone use and texting. Indeed, the true limiting factor in vehicular safety is the capacity of human beings to sense and process information and to make rapid decisions. Given that dramatic reductions in injuries and deaths from MVCs have occurred over the past century due to improvements in safety technology, despite increases in the number of vehicles on the road and miles driven per vehicle, we propose that an effective long-term strategy for reducing MVC-related injury would be continued technological innovation in vehicle design, aimed at progressively removing the driver from routine operational decision-making. Once this is achieved, high rates of speed could be achieved on open highways, with minimal risk of crashes and injury to occupants and pedestrians. View Full-Text
Keywords: injury; prevention; safety; roads; technology; robotics injury; prevention; safety; roads; technology; robotics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mawson, A.R.; Walley, E.K. Toward an Effective Long-Term Strategy for Preventing Motor Vehicle Crashes and Injuries. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 8123-8136.

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