National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: Front Matter
Page 1
Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Highway Safety Behavioral Strategies for Rural Areas. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27196.
×
Page 1
Page 2
Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Highway Safety Behavioral Strategies for Rural Areas. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27196.
×
Page 2

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

1 Summary Rural roads comprise approximately 70% of the United States (U.S.) road network, but only 19% of the population lives in rural areas (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA], 2020), which means that there are more than nine times the lane-miles per 100,000 residents in rural versus urban areas. Because 46% of the crashes occur in rural areas, the risk of fatality or serious injury on a mileage basis is two times higher on rural than urban roads (NHTSA, 2020). Rural roads are unique for many reasons including varying terrain and road conditions, wildlife on the roadways, long distances between services, drivers who are unfamiliar with the area (tourists), and differing road user risk perception. This poses challenges for rural transportation practitioners who tend to have few resources and little funding, but many lane-miles to manage. Research is needed to move beyond infrastructure safety countermeasures and develop behavioral traffic safety tools that encourage safe driving choices in rural areas. The objective of this research was to develop a behavioral traffic safety countermeasure toolkit for highway safety partners involved with rural road safety (e.g., tribal authorities, local government, law enforcement, emergency responders, engineers) to reduce the frequency and severity of motor vehicle crashes on roads in rural areas. The countermeasure toolkit should be accessible and practical for use by partners with varying levels of traffic safety expertise. The research team developed a two-phase research approach. Phase I focused on defining “rural” (Task 1), Data Analysis (Task 2), identifying countermeasures through a literature review (Task 3), and documenting case studies (Task 4). The original goal for the outcome of the project was to create a toolkit where stakeholders could choose specific evidence-based behavioral strategies for rural areas; however, the literature review revealed a shortage of evaluations for behavioral strategies in rural areas, and those that did exist lacked a control group, which significantly limits the level of evidence for the strategy. Although other transportation and health-based toolkits have used additional levels of evidence for inclusion of strategies, such as research- based and promising practices, the lack of evaluations for rural strategies would present challenges. While Phase I did not yield the anticipated number of evidence-based strategies tested in rural settings, the tasks did reveal valuable actionable insights salient to rural traffic behavioral safety, including identifying unique challenges and barriers. Additionally, the recent shift in focus in the U.S. from a traditional transportation safety approach ─ where behavioral and infrastructure disciplines and strategies are siloed, to the Safe System Approach ─ where there is shared responsibility and human mistakes are anticipated ─ provides an opportunity to create new resources focused on the Safe System Approach. Therefore, the research team recommended a rural toolkit with a slightly different focus that would be extremely beneficial to rural stakeholders and would move the state of the practice forward. The recommended approach was to divide the toolkit into two separate categories: general process information and intervention specific information, which provided additional rural examples beyond the case studies offered in the Interview (Task 4) Chapter. Phase II of the project used the information identified in Phase I to create the toolkit and resources for training partners on its use. The work plan laid out the tasks and subtasks for Phase II including toolkit creation (Task 7), training materials, instructional aids, and evaluation methods (Task 8), and final report (Task 9).

2 There were four steps used to create the toolkit: Identify and Review Existing Toolkits – Fourteen different resources were reviewed to inform the design and contents of the toolkit. Develop Toolkit Outline, Format, and Process – The review of existing resources in Step 1 guided the development of proposed outline. The team selected a standalone PDF format so the toolkit could be easily shared or printed. Brief summaries and practical steps are provided and academic jargon is avoided. Draft Toolkit Contents and Layout – The selected content for the toolkit entitled, “Guidance for Improving Roadway Safety in Rural and Tribal Settings,” includes the following chapters: 1.) Introduction; 2.) How Behavioral Countermeasures/Strategies Work; 3.) Guidance on Process: What to do Next; 4.) Guidance on Identifying, Selecting, and Adapting Countermeasures/Strategies for Rural and Tribal Communities; 5.) Guidance on Ways to Grow Evaluative Thinking. Share Draft Toolkit – The toolkit was shared with a sample of stakeholders to obtain feedback via a survey regarding accessibility and usability. Revisions were made before its final release. Phase 2 also included the creation of training materials on how stakeholders can apply the toolkit to reduce the frequency and severity of motor vehicle crashes on roads in rural areas. Videos are an effective training resource as they can be watched individually or used by a group (such as a coalition). Thus, two videos were created to support the toolkit: a 90 second introductory video and a longer training video on developing a logic model. The longer video discusses what a logic model is, why it might be helpful in roadway safety efforts, and how to develop one for behavioral safety countermeasures. The developed toolkit and training are extremely useful for practitioners working to adapt and implement behavioral strategies in rural and tribal areas. This toolkit and training are also complementary to the recently released Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), State Farm funded, report America’s Rural Roads: Beautiful and Deadly (GHSA, 2022).

Next: Introduction & Background »
Highway Safety Behavioral Strategies for Rural Areas Get This Book
×
 Highway Safety Behavioral Strategies for Rural Areas
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Rural roads have a higher risk of fatality or serious injury than urban roads due to factors such as varying terrain, wildlife, and long distances between services.

BTSCRP Web-Only Document 4: Highway Safety Behavioral Strategies for Rural Areas, from TRB's Behavioral Transportation Safety Cooperative Research Program, documents the overall research effort that produced BTSCRP Research Report 8: Highway Safety Behavioral Strategies for Rural and Tribal Areas: A Guide. Supplemental to the document is a PowerPoint presentation that outlines the project.

READ FREE ONLINE

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!