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Title:Understanding Driver and Occupant Dynamics in Rural Traffic Safety
Authors:Kimberly Vachal and John MacGowan
Publication Date:Jun 2007
Report #:DP-188
TRID #:01387048
Keywords:behavior, drivers, drunk driving, highway safety, overturning, passengers, policy, rural areas, speeding
Type:Research Report – Department Publications



The goal of this study was to contribute localized information for decision-making to allocate traffic safety resources in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The rural nature of the region differentiates its driving environment from other more populated U.S. regions. Analysis of Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data shows that while this region shares many traffic safety issues with its urban counterparts, the policies, educational initiatives, and enforcement activities may be better designed by considering local decision criteria. It seems evident that several shared traffic safety priorities; including driver drinking and speeding, offer great opportunity for peer-learning and for leveraging resources to more effectively address this critical personal safety and public mobility issue.

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