US GAO provides recommendations for the USDOT to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety

Traffic Safety Pulse News

Drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists’ driving behaviors greatly affect pedestrian and cyclist safety. Higher driving speeds are also linked to increased crash risk and severity. In 2019, over 80 percent of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities occurred where speed limits were 35 miles per hour or higher, according to GAO’s analysis of Department of Transportation (DOT) data.

Other road users’ behaviors are less understood. For example, there is little research on how pedestrian and cyclist impairment affects crash risk, mostly due to the fact that research has focused on drivers. DOT has several efforts under way to improve knowledge of these behavioral aspects of highway safety. DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides grants and other support to help states implement projects, or countermeasures, to encourage safer behaviors.

NHTSA has worked to improve safety on a state-by-state basis, but has not analyzed information on states’ use of countermeasures more broadly, such as by evaluating available information to identify national trends. By sharing the results with states, NHTSA is taking a step towards gaining advanced knowledge of countermeasures and their effectiveness.

Access the full report here.

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