Automotive Safety

Crucial highway infrastruture investments could save thousands of lives

US Highway Infrastructure

Studies show that more than 90% of motor vehicle crashes are caused, at least in part, by human error.

There is a large body of evidence showing that simple changes in roadway design and safety features can have profound effects on rates of crashes, injuries, and deaths.

Recent research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety identified several roadway improvements that have the potential to help save 63,700 lives and prevent 415,000 serious injuries over a 20-year period with an investment of $146 billion.

These 6 cost-effective improvements account for 95%1 of the study’s anticipated crash reductions:


Converting key intersections into roundabouts


Installing roadside barriers and clearing roadside objects


Adding sidewalks and signalized pedestrian crossings


Installing median barriers on divided highways


Installing shoulder and centerline rumble strips


Paving and widening shoulders

What can be done to improve highway safety?

While the investment of $146 billion outlined in the report will likely have a significant national impact, increased funding is required at all levels of government to reverse America’s current infrastructure crisis.

Therefore, AAA encourages state and local governments to prioritize safer highway design, improve road conditions, and eliminate roadside hazards.

1Percentage total does not add up to 95 due to rounding.

Information taken from “Safety Benefits of Highway Infrastructure Investments,” May 2017, American Automobile Association.

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