09 May 2011




CONTACT: Karen Morgan, manager, Public Policy,
AAA Auto Club South, (813) 787-5192 cell, KVMorgan@AAASouth.com

 Americans Want More, Not Less, Action to Advance Laws, Regulation, and Enforcement to Improve Highway Safety

  Timely Research Amidst U.S.Debate on Government Priorities and  U.N’s Kickoff of “Decade of Action for Road Safety”

TAMPA, Fla. (May 9, 2011) –   At a time when there is intense debate  about the role of government, a majority of Americans support additional laws and want more action by government officials to improve highway safety, according to a new survey out today by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  The survey release comes as the United Nations kicks off its ‘Decade of Action on Road Safety’, a global campaign to reduce highway deaths and injuries.

“In light of the ongoing debate about government spending on transportation, it’s clear the majority of Americans want government officials to do more to address highway safety concerns,” said Kevin Bakewell, sr. vice president, AAA Auto Club South. “There are many steps the government can take to reduce injuries and deaths as a result of traffic crashes, such as enact stronger traffic safety laws, fund programs that improve the safety of our roadways, and add more safety equipment to vehicles.”

The survey was released just ahead of the United Nations’ official launch of the ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety’ campaign, which aims to stabilize and then reduce global road deaths by 2020. Major economies of the G20, including the United States as well as leading developing countries and public institutions like the  World Bank and the World Health Organization, have all endorsed the Decade of Action.

“At a time when more and more U.S. highway safety agencies are adopting “Toward Zero Death” goals, it is very heartening to see motorists support for more, not less action by government to make our roads safer,” said J. Peter Kissinger, President, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, that commissioned this survey.

Specific survey results* include:

  • 62 percent of Americans agree the U.S. needs more laws to prevent people from doing dangerous things while driving (17 percent disagree)
  • 57 percent of Americans agree their respective state government needs to do more to make their roads safer (11 percent disagree)
  • 86 percent of Americans agree all new drivers should be required to complete a driver education course before they can get a driver’s license (3% disagree)
  • A majority of Americans agree that both auto manufacturers (60 percent) and the federal government (41 percent) need to do more to make cars safer  (9 and 21 percent, respectively, disagree)
  • 70 percent of Americans agree that driving safety laws should be enforced more strictly (6 percent disagree)


For global context, separate information provided by the “Make Roads Safe” global campaign** shows:


  • 1.3 million people are killed on the world’s roads each year
  • 50 million people globally are injured, many disabled as a result 
  • Annual road deaths globally are forecast to rise to 1.9 million by 2020
  • Road deaths are the ##1 cause of death for young people worldwide (including in the U.S.)
  • By 2015, road deaths will be the leading health burden for children over the age of five in developing countries


“As the global community has initiated action to combat the public health crisis associated with motor vehicle crashes, the U.S. should lead by example and invest even greater resources in laws, education, technology and road design to reduce the daily highway carnage,” said Kissinger.

*The survey was conducted April 7 – 13 by Knowledge Networks for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, with a nationally representative sample of 920 drivers ages 18 and older, using the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®, a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S.population. Initially, participants are chosen scientifically by a random selection of telephone numbers and residential addresses. Persons in selected households are then invited by telephone or by mail to participate in the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®. For those who agree to participate, but do not already have Internet access, Knowledge Networks provides at no cost a laptop and ISPconnection. More technical information is available at http://www.knowledgenetworks.com/ganp/reviewer-info.html.

**These statistics are sourced to Make Roads Safe – The Campaign for Global Road safety, at www.makeroadssafe.org. For more information about the survey and other materials visit www.AAAFoundation.org.

AAA Auto Club South is the third largest affiliate of AAA, serves more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, Middle/West Tennessee, and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.

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