Should we really accept road trauma as collateral damage from daily road use? Eliminating Serious Injury and Death from Road Transport: A Crisis of Complacency explores why societies and their elected leaders view traffic safety as a (relatively) minor problem. It examines the changes in the culture of road use that need to occur if this public health problem is to be effectively resolved.
The book dispels the myths that currently drive societies’ (misguided) view of traffic safety—the bad behavior myth and the official myth that everything that can be done is being done—and how these myths limit progress in reducing death and serious injury. It presents current scientific knowledge and draws parallels with other areas of public safety and health. The book draws on examples from the media and from public policy debates to paint a clear picture of a flawed public policy approach. It presents a model for a preventive medicine approach to traffic safety policy to get beyond an ego-centric culture to a communal safety culture.
"In this passionate, punchy and persuasive new book, the authors explore our love of the car, our dependence on it, and the risks we tolerate in return for the benefits it brings. … Overall, very readable, thought provoking and strongly recommended."
—Health and Safety at Work, June 2014
"This new book explores why societies and their elected leaders view road safety as a relatively (minor) problem. It examines the changes in the culture of road use that need to occur if this public health problem is to be effectively resolved. … a must read …"
—Lauchlan McIntosh AM FACRS, President, Australasian College of Road Safety in Journal of the Astralasian College of Road Safety, 2014
Eliminating Serious Injury and Death from Road Transport Is Not a Pipe Dream
Serious Crashes Happen to Real People
Noel and Jan’s Story
Three Stories among Tens of Thousands
The Way We View Safety Is a Big Part of the Problem
International Concern is Focussed on the Motorising World, Not on "Us"
Should We Measure Safety as Actual Numbers or as Rates?
Why Do We (Mostly) Rely on Death Counts and Death Rates?
Transport Safety Rate
Personal Safety Rate
So What Measure Should We Use?
How Much Risk Is Too Much?
The Car in Society
Car Dependence and Its Legacy
Driving Culture—Right versus Responsibility
Prevailing Culture of Blame
Vested Interests and the Rise of "Anecdata"
Overall Cultural Context
Brief History of How and Why Science Takes a Back Seat
Stages of Official Thinking about Traffic Safety
Basic Approaches to Injury Prevention
Evolution of Safe System Thinking
Inherent Unsafety of Our Present Road Use System
Everyday Error versus Blameworthy Behaviour
Decision-Making Context for Public Policy Development
Making Trade-Off Decisions
Safe System Approach
Institutional Management Really Matters
Serious Crashes Have Impacts Way Beyond Those Injured
Approaching Traffic Safety as Preventive Medicine
WIFM, Freedom of Choice, and the Dilemma of the Commons
Place for a Preventive Medicine Approach
Institutions, Vested Interests, and Policy Decision Making
What Can We Learn from Occupational Safety?
Safe Behaviour, Safety Climate, and Safety Culture
Speed Moderation: The Most Difficult Issue of All
Why Is Speed So Critical?
Speed and Crash Likelihood
Why Is Kinetic Energy So Important?
Extant Speed Limits and Current Levels of Protection
Safe Vehicles and Safe Speeds
Safe Roads, Roadsides, and Safe Speeds
Safe Road Users and Safe Speeds
How, Then, Do We Set Speed Limits?
Social Context of Speed Behaviour
How Might We Achieve Widespread Speed Moderation?
Why Traffic Safety Lacks Both a Coherent Constituency and Committed Leadership by Government
Understanding the Challenges
Six Vital Steps toward Zero
Time for a New Focus
Climate of Safety
Cooperation and Coordination