A paradigm shift is changing the way we think about transportation safety. In the past, traffic safety experts evaluated risk using distance-based units (traffic crashes and casualties per 100 million vehicle-miles or billion vehicle-kilometers), which ignores increases in vehicle traffic as a risk factor, and mobility management as a safety strategy. Yet, we now have overwhelming evidence that the amount people drive has a major impact on their chance of being injured or killed in a traffic accident. Here is a small portion of the evidence:
Many families move to sprawled, automobile-dependent suburbs because they want a safe place to raise their children. They are mistaken. A smart growth community is actually a much safer and healthier place to live overall.