Pedestrians and Cyclists: Better Information to States and Enhanced Performance Management Could Help DOT Improve Safety
In 2019, over 7,000 pedestrians and cyclists—about 20 per day—died in collisions with motor vehicles in the United States, up from about 4,800 in 2009. Road users’ behaviors can affect pedestrian and cyclist safety, along with other factors like vehicle and road design. NHTSA provides states with over $500 million annually to address the behavioral aspects of safety. GAO was asked to review pedestrian and cyclist safety and road users’ behaviors. This report examines: (1) what is known about how road users’ behaviors affect pedestrian and cyclist safety; (2) the extent to which NHTSA’s countermeasure guide provides information to help states select effective projects; and (3) the extent to which DOT has used key performance management practices to help ensure activities are improving safety. GAO analyzed pedestrian and cyclist fatality data, state safety plans, and relevant literature; interviewed researchers and officials from states selected based on recent fatality trends; and compared relevant DOT strategic plans and practices to standards for effective performance management.
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