Traffic Fatalities Report – How Are Civil Engineers Saving Lives?
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A report released on April 1st by the US Department of Transportation concluded that US traffic fatalities are its lowest level since 1949.
The basis for this decline, and some noted in the report, are numerous:
* The Recession – People travel less during down a down economy
* Technology – Employers now allow employees to work from home more often as they can easily log into a secure server and be as equally productive at a lower cost to the employer
* Vigilant Drunk Driving Enforcement – Recent legislation makes the legal limit .08 in all states and those guilty of drunk driving are being held more accountable for their actions…and rightfully so!
* Improved Vehicle Safety – Three-point seatbelts now required in all cars; airbags in many cars now envelop passengers; advanced design of the outer shell
Tradition shows that traffic engineers, transportation planners, and highway engineers also play a major role in highway safety by:
* Designing improved barrier systems via 3D modeling
* Better controlling traffic at access points
* Better controlling traffic through construction zones
* Applying ITS programs to enhance highway safety
* Developing public transit alternatives (i.e. HSR) that appeal to the public
For those of us who are not engineers, for those who are currently studying or looking to study civil engineering in college, and for those engineers whose area of expertise falls outside of transportation, what are some of the current and future innovations from a civil / transportation engineering perspective that have contributed to this decline and that will hopefully contribute to the future decline of this statistic?
This blog is receives over 5,000 visitors each month, most of which are civil engineering professionals. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this very topic and hopefully for generating some great discussion!