Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit:
2002 Conditions and Performance Report
Part I: Description of Current System
Part II: Investment Performance Analyses
Part III: Bridges
Part IV: Special Topics
Part V: Supplemental Analyses of System Components
Over the past four decades, the U.S. Department of Transportation has used several tools to reduce highway fatalities and injuries. These include regulations, grants, public education campaigns, engineering and technological research. Rather than adopting a single policy to improve safety, the Department uses many initiatives and interacts with both the public and private sectors.
The public's acceptance of safety restraint systems, for example, represents
one of the great public policy success stories of the past two decades.
This resulted from a two-pronged effort involving education and enforcement.
The exhibit below describes the estimated number of lives saved from seat
belts, air bags, and child restraint systems in 1994 and 2000.
Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
The Department distributes grants to States to reduce crashes through better
responsible driving. The Department also partners with industries and public
interest groups; in the 1980s and 1990s, for example, a public-private partnership
helped reduce the number of alcohol-related driving fatalities.