Moving from Crash Causation and Countermeasures to Road Safety Policy
There are interrelationships between crash causes, countermeasures, and policy implications, but they are not necessarily direct and obvious. Part of the problem is the definition of a cause. Various crash causation studies have fostered some false assumptions and biases that must be overcome to yield an effective road safety policy. Crash causes and their prevalence are most often determined by investigators who are biased in different ways. Thus, the prevalent notion that approximately 90 percent of the crashes are due to human errors or failures is due to a threshold bias, and the implied notion that 90 percent of the countermeasures should be directed at changing these behaviors is based on an erroneous medical model that cure must be directly linked to the stated cause. A more balanced approach to the definition of a cause and to the search for crash countermeasures is needed, and the safe system approach appears to be a most promising policy to integrate them.
About the speaker
David Shinar is a chaired professor emeritus of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, where he founded the Driving Behavior Laboratory, and the graduate program in Highway Traffic Safety. He created and headed the Office of Chief Scientist of Israel’s National Road Safety Authority.
David Shinar has served or currently serves on the editorial boards of the leading traffic safety journals. His research has been funded by the European Commission, USA Federal government, Israel’s government, public foundations, and private industry, and covered multiple issues including alcohol and drugged driving, distraction, fatigue, and aggressive driving, sign perception, speed and safety, and crash cause analyses.
David Shinar has received various honors and published 3 books and over 100 articles in refereed international journals. His most recent book is Traffic Safety and Human Behavior (2nd Edition, 2017, 1,249pp).