Increasing Equity in Traffic Safety: Case Studies in Ohio, Texas, and Washington

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Although disparities in traffic safety outcomes are well documented, less is known about the factors contributing to them or practical ways for transportation professionals to address them. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is working with a team of researchers led by the University of Washington Tacoma to examine inequities in traffic safety in relation to race, ethnicity, education, income, and disability status. The work seeks to identify factors contributing to those inequities, and provide practical and evidence-based recommendations which consider the principles of the Safe System approach to improve equity in traffic safety or mitigate disparities where they exist. 

Project Goal and Plan

The goal of this research is to provide a better understanding of the underlying factors contributing to traffic safety inequities based on unique contexts, needs, and challenges that minority populations and communities face. This research will perform a systematic literature search on equity in traffic safety and include a range of disciplines, including transportation planning, public health, and social justice. Next, the team will investigate traffic safety disparities in crash involvement among individuals of different races, ethnicities, ages, and road user categories, in addition to performing a neighborhood-level evaluation to determine where traffic safety inequities are most pronounced. The team will analyze crash data, demographic, socioeconomic, built environment, mobility data, roadway geometry, roadway inventory data, and traffic data from three states: Washington, Ohio, and Texas. Lastly, the study will identify evidence-based interventions that promote more equitable access to road safety resources and provide practical recommendations to improve equity in traffic safety.


Alicia Romo

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety