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Behaviors and Attitudes

Resources

NHTSA studies behaviors and attitudes in highway safety, focusing on drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. We identify and measure behaviors involved in crashes or associated with injuries, and develop and refine countermeasures to deter unsafe behaviors and promote safe alternatives.

Our recently published reports are listed chronologically below. To the right are additional resources including Behavioral Research Notes and Traffic Techs.



147 Results
Title
 

Activity Level, Performance, and Exposure Among Older Drivers

This project explored the relationship between the fitness of older people – operationalized through multiple measures of physical activity level and cognitive status – and their driving performance and exposure. While higher physical activity levels generally were associated with better road test performance, in all cases relationships were very weak, accounting for less than 3% of the variance in the performance evaluations.

Effectiveness of Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs (Traffic Tech)

This Traffic Tech briefly summarizes a larger two-volume report, Effectiveness of Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs, Vol. 1: Literature Review and Meta-Analysis, and Vol. 2: Appendices and Annotated Bibliography. That report is a comprehensive, quantitative review of research on the effectiveness of dynamic speed feedback signs (DSFS) and presents evidence that DSFS can be effective in reducing speeds in a range of contexts. Speed reductions of just a few mph can significantly reduce injury from crashes.

Effectiveness of Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs, Volume I and II

This two-volume report is a comprehensive, quantitative review of published research on the effectiveness of dynamic speed feedback signs (DSFSs) and presents evidence that DSFS can be effective in reducing mean speeds, 85th percentile speeds, and the percentage of drivers over the speed limit in a wide range of contexts. The clear majority of studies found significant reductions in speeds at the DSFS when the DSFS are activated across all types of vehicles and different installation locations. This publication, Volume II, presents the technical appendices and annotated bibliography. Volume I presents the literature review and meta-analysis.

Traffic Tech - Defining Contextual Variables Related to Seat Belt Use in Fatal Crashes

This Traffic Tech summarizes a longer NHTSA report exploring some of the contextual and environmental characteristics of drinking locations that may influence seat belt use, and whether these locations influence lack of seat belt use in crash fatalities. In particular, on-premises alcohol outlets that sell alcohol for on-site consumption, off-premises alcohol outlets that sell alcohol for off-site consumption, and tourism locations were examined for potential relationships to the lack of restraint use in crash fatalities from 2012 to 2016.

Defining Contextual Variables Related to Seat Belt Use in Fatal Crashes

This report describes a study investigating some of the contextual and environmental characteristics of places that may influence seat belt use and, by implication, the lack of restraint in crash fatalities. In particular, on-premises businesses that sell alcohol for on-site consumption, off-premises businesses that sell alcohol for off-site consumption, and tourism locations were examined for potential relationships to the lack of restraint use in crash fatalities in the United States from 2012 to 2016.

Impact Analysis of Bicycle Safety Laws

Bicycling is increasingly popular, economical, environmentally friendly, and has cardiovascular benefits. Many States have enacted bicycle traffic safety improvement laws such as safe passing, promote safer practices among bicyclists such as mandatory helmet use, or treat bicyclists as a separate class of road user, as with the Idaho Stop law. The Impact Analysis of Bicycle Safety Laws documented a study of six laws (safe passing, mandatory helmet use, bicycling under the influence, where-to-ride, sidewalk riding, and the Idaho stop) to determine if States and communities should create separate laws to govern bicyclists, and if bicyclist-specific traffic safety laws protect them from motor vehicle crash injuries and fatalities.

National EMS Scope of Practice Model 2019: Including Change Notices 1.0 and 2.0

The President’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness calls for immediate actions to support State and local efforts to enlist emergency medical services and firefighters to support vaccination efforts. The 2019 National EMS Scope of Practice Model Including Change Notices 1.0 and 2.0 adds intramuscular injection, vaccinations during a public health emergency, and nasal swab specimen collection to the scope of practice of EMS clinicians at the EMT and higher levels.

Seat Belt Use, Race, and Hispanic Origin - Traffic Tech

This Traffic Tech explores the relationship between seat belt use, race, and Hispanic origin using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey, and the Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey.

A Primer for Evaluating Underage Drinking and Driving Programs

This primer is a practical “how-to” guide for practitioners and researchers interested in evaluating underage drinking and driving programs. It distills program evaluation and provide guidance specific to underage drinking and driving. Components address barriers to program evaluation; how to address challenges unique to developing and evaluating underage drinking and driving programs; key elements to look for when searching for effective interventions or programs; models and theories grounded in both public health and psychology that can serve as a guide for developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions and/or programs; evaluation standards from the CDC framework that can support a quality evaluation and assist when prioritizing and/or choosing from the multitude of options at each phase of program evaluation; and how to obtain Institutional Review Board approval.

Update to Special Reports on Traffic Safety During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Fourth Quarter Data, Research Note, Traffic Safety Facts

NHTSA is reviewing nationwide changes in traffic safety and observed behaviors caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. This research note includes data through the end of the 2020 calendar year, updating earlier preliminary reports. The research note includes changes in travel patterns, rates of crash severity, and the prevalence of drugs and alcohol among seriously and fatally injured road users at select trauma centers.

For Access to older content please go to our archived Research page.