Survey Finds Overwhelming Support for Safe System Approach to Roadway Safety

NSC releases findings at a press conference on Capitol Hill during Infrastructure Week.

May 15, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – New survey findings released today by the National Safety Council show it’s not just the U.S. Department of Transportation and traffic safety advocates that support a Safe System Approach to roadway safety – the public does too. 

Conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute through a Road to Zero Community Traffic Safety Grant, the survey examined the beliefs of adults in the U.S. related to the Safe System Approach and various safety-related concepts, including roadway use behavior and perceptions of road safety and safety strategies. The survey revealed that most participants recognized the effectiveness of multiple strategies to improve roadway safety under the Safe System Approach.

Another significant takeaway: Most participants agreed with the core principles of the approach, such as no one should be seriously injured or killed on roadways, people make mistakes, and roadway systems should be designed so that mistakes are less likely to result in death or serious injury.

“These survey findings provide tremendous insight as we continue to advocate for much-needed change on our roadways,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO, and chair of the Road to Zero Coalition, which manages the Community Traffic Safety Grant program. “We are thrilled to have first revealed such findings at today’s press conference on Capitol Hill and look forward to keeping this conversation going beyond Infrastructure Week to prevent crashes and save lives.”

Completed in December 2023, the survey also found:

  • Three-quarters of participants (74.9%) expressed moderate or greater concern about their safety and the safety of family and friends on roads
  • Two-thirds or more of participants supported various strategies addressing safer people, safer roads, safer speeds, safer vehicles and post-crash care
  • Nearly 83% of participants (82.8%) supported their local government doing more to improve the safety of roads in their community
  • Participants get most of their information about roadway safety from traditional news media (40.9%) and online news media (28.8%), as well as other sources
  • Three quarters of participants (75.5%) were interested in a website that would give them information about the safety of roads in their community and provide a way to raise concerns

Adopted over two years ago by the U.S. Department of Transportation in its National Roadway Safety Strategy, the Safe System Approach takes a holistic look at road safety by examining five elements of a safe transportation system: road users, speed management, vehicles, roads and post-crash care. Laws, policies and infrastructure that support a Safe System Approach are vital to eliminating traffic deaths and creating a safe transportation system for all. NSC, victim advocates and roadway safety partners met with federal legislators during Infrastructure Week to advance legislation and rulemaking proceedings that support the Safe System Approach and will continue to advocate for the safety of all road users as the nation works toward achieving zero roadway fatalities.

For more information on the Road to Zero Coalition, please visit nsc.org/roadtozero. To learn more about how to stay safe on the roads, visit nsc.org/saferoads.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for 110 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace and roadways. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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