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Improving road safety in the U.S.: Lessons from Europe

January 16, 2013

Tougher drunk driving laws, lower speed limits, and stricter seat belt laws are the best ways to reduce traffic deaths in the United States, according to UMTRI researchers.

"Despite recent major improvements in road safety in the U.S., the current safety level is far below the level of the best-performing countries," said UMTRI research professor Michael Sivak.

Sivak and colleague Juha Luoma, an UMTRI visiting research scientist from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, compared the amount and kinds of fatal crashes in the U.S., United Kingdom, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

They found that the number of road deaths has fallen in all four countries since 2006. However, the fatality rate per population is much higher in the U.S.--124 deaths per million people, compared to 43 in the U.K., 42 in Sweden, and 40 in the Netherlands.

Read the U-M news release.