What makes safety an important factor in transportation planning?
Over the past three decades, transportation fatality rates have declined in relationship to system usage, due in large part to safer cars, tougher police enforcement, and increasing use of seat belts, air bags, and child safety seats. However, in many accident categories, the actual number of crashes has increased because more people are using the transportation system. In addition, there are large economic costs associated with crashes, incurred both by those involved and by other travelers affected by the traffic delay caused by crashes. Maintaining high performance in transportation safety requires seamless coordination of activities and funding among multiple partners and a transportation planning process that can coordinate and direct funding toward the highest safety priorities.