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Decision Points

  • Road fatalities have dropped by 26% in the period between 2005 and 2011, but recent data show an increase in fatalities (up 13% in 2012), and predictions that this trend will continue to climb. According to a new analysis by Michael Sivak (.pdf) at the university of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, there are many contributing factors attributable to the 2005 - 2011 decline; including safer cars with airbags and stability control, graduated driver licensing programs, and effective legislation. But there is another factor that may be the biggest cause of change for road safety - the general economy. During the recession the number of miles driven has declined. But it's not just the number of miles driven that has changed,

  • The same technology that is used for scanning and modeling human forms for use in computer gaming is now being used to create vitrual test dummies for simulated crash testing analysis. The benefits include the ability to test with a wider array of human shapes and sizes, cheaper non-destructive testing, both allowing for a wider set of results for analysis. Unlike crash dummies, which can only be positioned by shoving their hips and heads into limited positions, virtual human models can be morphed into a variety of configurations. Even data-based grasp predictions are possible, when calculating grasp motions for ergonomic applications and modeling virtual shapes. Current "crash test dummies" only represent a portion of the population. Virtual testing allows engineers

  • A recent Traffic Safety Facts summary report from the NHTSA [pdf] anticipates the increase crash severity rate for 2012 may be the highest since 1979. A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2012 shows that an estimated 7,630 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents a significant increase of about 13.5 percent as compared to the 6,720 fatalities that were projected to have occurred in the first quarter of 2011... [download the pdf] The projects are made using a statical measure for making early estimates, the same methods for estimating crash rates for the last three year. Actual crash data lags by a year or more, as it's collected from the various sources and

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szq5ONFzs0Y?rel=0&w=460&h=259 This presentation was recorded live at the Truckload Carriers Association's annual convention on 3/16/11 [San Diego, CA]. Mike Natalizio, President and CEO of HNI addresses the impact CSA will have on obtaining insurance and your insurability in this informative 13 minute video. He also shares a unique perspective on how he sees motor carriers manage risk in the future by moving from lagging indicators to leading indicators of true performance.

  • New traffic light technology displayed at 117th annual International Municipal Signal Association earlier this month in Orlando promises to help drivers avoid the panic-inducing "dilemma zone", caused when the traffic light has turned yellow, and the driver must decide to either slam on their brakes and risk a rear-end collision, or run a red-light. The new technology called "TrafiRadar", created by Belgium-based Traficon, will extend the duration of yellow light depending on road traffic, pedestrians, and bicyclists in the intersection. "Vulnerable road users in general, and bicyclists more specifically, just need more time than motorists to make it across the intersection," said Traficon USA vice president Bill Klyczek. "By detecting bicyclists at signalized intersections, we can increase their green time

  • The latest Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) "Status Report" is a special Crash Avoidance edition titled "They're Working" (.pdf), referring to new passenger vehicle technologies that are showing statistically significant reductions in collisions. This issue relies heavily on studies conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HDLI), a nonprofit research affiliate of IIHS that publishes insurance loss statistics for most vehicles driven in the US. The report focuses on forward collision avoidance systems and adaptive headlights that shift direction as the driver steers. "As more automakers offer advanced technologies on their vehicles, insurance data provide an early glimpse of how these features perform in the real world," says Matt Moore, vice president of HLDI, an affiliate of the Insurance

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