Looking at trends in the short term doesn’t always paint a complete picture. Nevertheless, we can’t help but be discouraged by the direction of traffic safety in the U.S. described in two recent reports — one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and another from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). Both reports analyze recent data to answer a similar big picture question: When it comes to traffic safety, how are we doing? Unfortunately, the answer is “not good enough.”
If 30,000 people were killed each year in the United States by a curable illness, we would call it a public health crisis. We would deploy resources, vaccines and interventions to address the spread and bring the death toll to the only acceptable level: zero. Yet, every year 30,000+ people are killed in preventable traffic collisions in this country. Vision Zero asks us to see those traffic deaths like polio or cholera: epidemics that, with an urgent health framing and public response, can be eradicated. In this case study we explore how San Francisco, New York City and Chicago are using the tools of public health — including epidemiology, research and a focus on the root causes of health inequities — to advance their Vision Zero efforts.
The Vision Zero Network applauds the United States Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking, issued today, to address major public health challenges such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as inequitable access to safe walking conditions among America’s diverse communities. Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and […]
Recognizing the devastating scale of road traffic injuries as a global public health and development concern, in 2010 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed this a Decade of Action for Road Safety. That year alone saw 1.24 million people killed on the world’s roads. The UN’s goal: To stem the epidemic and reverse the rising […]