Road to Zero University of Michigan Grant

U. of Michigan Traffic Research Institute

Exploring Countermeasures to Reduce Fatalities with UTMOST

The Unified Theory Mapping Opportunities for Safety Technology (UTMOST) tool was developed to allow visualization of the benefits of multiple safety countermeasures (Flannagan and Flannagan 2007). The initial version of UTMOST allowed visualization of the number of persons involved in crashes and the number of persons injured in crashes, and estimated how different combinations of safety countermeasures might influence the crash population. The purpose of the NSC Road to Zero project was to extend the tool to visualize motor-vehicle fatalities. Fatality data was analyzed using the 2011-2015 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Once the fatality modules were added to UTMOST, the tool was exercised to understand how current countermeasures could reduce fatalities if they were widely implemented. Achieving 100% proper restraint use (motorcycle helmets, child restraints and seat belts) would reduce fatalities by 27%. Eliminating alcohol-caused crashes (simulated by setting alcohol interlock effectiveness to 100%) would reduce fatalities by 26%. Equipping the entire vehicle fleet with crash avoidance technologies at their current level of effectiveness would reduce fatalities by 33%. Implementing all of these countermeasures simultaneously would reduce fatalities by 61%, down to about 13,000 annually. When reviewing the fatal crashes that could not be mitigated by these efforts, frontal crashes and pedestrian crashes each make up about 30% of the remaining fatal crashes.

Estimated effect of 100% belt use, no alcohol-impaired drivers, and all vehicles equipped with current crash avoidance technologies.