close

Вход

Забыли?

вход по аккаунту

?

TRAFFIC SAFETY. A STUDY OF MODERN ENGINEERING, EDUCATIONAL AND ENFORCEMENT TECHNIQUES FOR THE CONTROL OF MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS

код для вставкиСкачать
INFORMATION TO USERS
This dissertation was produced from a m icrofilm copy of the original document.
While the most advanced technological means to photograph and reproduce this
document have been used, the quality is heavily dependent upon the quality of
the original submitted.
The following explanation o f techniques is provided to help you understand
markings or patterns which may appear on this reproduction.
1.
The sign or "target" fo r pages apparently lacking from the document
photographed is "Missing Page(s)". If it was possible to obtain the
missing page(s) or section, they are spliced into the film along with
adjacent pages. This may have necessitated cutting thru an image and
duplicating adjacent pages to insure you complete continuity.
2.
When an image on the film is obliterated with a large round black
mark, it is an indication that the photographer suspected that the
copy
may have moved during exposure and thus cause a blurred
image. You will find a good image of the page in the adjacent frame.
3.
When a map, drawing or chart, etc., was part o f the material being
p h o to g ra p h e d
the
photographer
followed
a
definite
method
in
"sectioning" the material. It is customary to begin photoing at the
upper left hand corner o f a large sheet and to continue photoing from
left to
right
in equal sections w ith a small overlap.
If necessary,
sectioning is continued again — beginning below the first row and
continuing on until complete.
4.
The m ajority of users indicate that the textual content is of greatest
value, however, a somewhat higher quality reproduction could be
made from
dissertation.
"photographs" if essential to the understanding o f the
Silver
prints
of
"photographs"
may
be
ordered
at
additional charge by writing the Order Department, giving the catalog
number, title, author and specific pages you wish reproduced.
University Microfilms
300 North Zeeb Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106
A X erox Education Company
T5-3500
LD3907
.23
Yordan, Edward L
1941
Traffic safety; a study of m o d e m
.Y7
engineering, educational and enforce­
ment techniques for the control of
motor vehicle accidents...
New York,
1941.
vi,24S typewritten leaves,
illus.,
tables,diagrs.
29cm.
Final document (2d.D.) - New York
university, School of education, 1941.
''Selected bibliography": p . c2 0 4 3-214.
A67S67
University Microfilms,
A n n A rb o r, Michigan 48106
T H IS D IS S E R T A T IO N HAS BEEN M IC R O F IL M E D E X A C T L Y AS R E C E IV E D .
70
P in a l Dcienment’ .
Accepted, Cat a
APR 4 —<
Wfl
TRAFFIC SAFETY
A Study of Modern Engineering, Educational and Enforcement
Techniques for the Control of Motor Vehicle Accidents
EDWARD L. YORDAN
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of Doctor of
Education in the School of Education of
New York University
1941
PLEASE NOTE:
Some pages may have
indistinct print.
Filmed as received.
University Microfilms, A Xerox Education Company
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The author wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the
assistance of many persons who helped him in the collection
of data for this study and with critical suggestions.
Thanks are extended to the Sponsoring Committee, collect­
ively and individually.
Dr. B. E. Tomlinson gave impetus and
encouragement to the work and detailed guidance at many points.
Dr. E. S. Lloyd made helpful critical comments,
to procedure.
particularly as
Dr. D. E. McCollum assisted especially in matters
of style and construction.
A special word of acknowledgment is due to Dr. Herbert J.
Stack, special adviser and Director of the New York University
Center for Safety Education, who contributed numerous acute
observations and suggestions which aided in lending complete­
ness to the work.
Other members of the staff of the Center,
particularly Dr.
Leon Brody, Dr. Charles Hawkins, and Mr. Elmer Siebrecht, made
helpful criticisms and suggestions.
The clerical staff of the
Center, too, must be thanked for helping with the typescript and
in other ways.
Acknowledgment is also made of the assistance given by Dr.
Paul V. West, especially in connection with the bibliography.
The staff of the National Conservation Bureau made avail­
able many materials, for which gratitude is hereby expressed.
ii
A67S67
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter
I
II
III
Topic
Page
The P r o b l e m ...................................
Purpose of the S t u d y ......................
Scope and Delimitations of the Study
...
Specific Problems of the Study ...........
Significance of the Study .................
Traffic Death Totals
....................
Trend
...................................
Mileage B a t e ............................
Population B a t e ..........................
Vehicle Begistration Rate .
............
Types of Fatal A c c i d e n t s ...............
Urban-Rural Trend ........................
Age G r o u p s ..............................
Traffic Accidents and Disease ...........
Darkness
.
............................
- Traffic Accidents and National Defense. . .
Engineering, Educational, and Enforce­
ment Approaches
..........................
1
1
1
3
3
3
4
4
5
5
5
6
6
6
6
?
Background of the P r o b l e m ....................
Intensification of Traffic Accident Problem
Development of Traffic Legislation
. . . .
.............
Steps Toward Standardization
Uniform Vehicle C o d e ....................
Model Traffic O r d i n a n c e s ...............
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
Standard Accident Reports .................
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
.........
Highway Desigh Standards
.................
Other Standards
..........................
Application of Methods and Techniques . . .
............. .
Local, Individual Approach
Local D i f f e r e n c e s ......... ..............
Safety From W i t h i n ........................
9
9
11
13
13
16
17
IB
19
20
21
21
22
23
25
P r o c e d u r e .....................................
The Major Problems Involved in Traffic
A c c i d e n t s ...................................
Collection of D a t a ........................
Written Materials ........................
Interviews
............................
Treatment of the D a t a ......................
iii
7
27
28
28
28
30
32
Chapter
IV
V
Topic
Human Factors Involved in Accidents . . . . »
Bodily Defects of Drivers and Pedestrians •
Examination and Licensing of Drivers
. . •
Driver Testing Standards
Accident Repeater and Accident-Prone Driver
Shortcomings of Accident Repeaters
. . •
Driver Clinics
......... . ...........
Traffic Violators' School .............
The Aged Driver
. . . . . . . . . . . .
The Young Driver ........................
Driver Education in Schools ........... •
Personal Experiences of the Investigator in
Teaching Youngsters and Adults to Drive . •
Restricting Junior Drivers
. . . . . .
Negligence of Minors as Drivers . . . .
The Drinking Driver and the Drinking
Pedestrian
............. . . . . . . . .
Alcohol and Accidents .................
Tests for Intoxication
. . . .........
Arresting Drunken Pedestrians ......... •
Education Against Drunken Driving and
Walking
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
•
Police Techniques ......................
Legal Penalties
......................
Engineering and the Drunken Driver
. . *
The Pedestrian
..........................
Aged, Ignorant, Physically Handicapped
Pedestrian
..........................
The Immature Pedestrian ...............
The Indifferent Pedestrian
...........
Engineering Aids for Pedestrians
. . .
Education for Pedestrian Protection . . •
The Bicyclist . . . . . ..................
The C o m m u n i t y ........... ............ ..
The Teacher and Community Safety
. . .
•
Community Safety Agencies and Programs
...........
Promoting Community Safety
The Motor Vehicle as a Factor in Traffic
Accidents ...................................
Design and Maintenance
.................
Vehicle Design and Accidents
...........
"Safety Engineering" Awards
...........
Safety Glass
............................
"Anti-Hitch" Bus
........................
Mechanical Defects and Accidents
. . . .
Defective Vehicles
......................
Origin of Vehicle Inspections ...........
Compulsory Inspection of Vehicular
Condition
............................
Value of Vehicle Inspection .............
Inspection and Accidents
...............
iy
Page
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
34
34
35
38
39
40
42
47
49
50
51
54
56
57
58
58
59
63
64
65
67
68
69
72
74
75
79
83
87
90
91
92
94
109
109
111
112
117
118
120
122
124
126
127
130
Chapter
Topic
V
Brake Test Besults
. . . . . . . .
Official Safety R e q u i r e m e n t s ...............
Checklist for Car F i t n e s s .................
Headlights and Other Lights
.............
Aids to Clear Vision . . . . . . . . . . .
Brakes and Their Use'......................
T i r e s .....................................
Steering and Wheel Alignment .............
Miscellaneous Equipment
.................
VI
VII
Page
132
132
133
135
136
138
139
141
142
The Street or Highway as a Factor in Traffic
A c c i d e n t s .....................................
Highway Condition and Accidents
...........
Mechanical Controls
...................... .
Signs
..........................
Signs and A c c i d e n t s .....................
New Signs D e v e l o p e d ......................
Signs on Pennsylvania T u r n p i k e ...........
S i g n a l s .....................................
I s l a n d s ..................................
Channelizing Islands ......................
Rotary Islands ............................
Treating Dangerous Locations in Urban Areas.
Highway Design, Location, and Control
. . .
Developments in D e s i g n ....................
Important Features of Roadway Design . . .
B y - p a s s e s ...................
Speed Z o n i n g
.
No-passing Zones ..........................
Limited W a y s .......................
Pennsylvania Turnpike
. . . .
Express P a r k w a y s .............
Freeways
..........................
A Master Highway Plan for the Nation . . . .
Aids to Night D r i v i n g ......................
Poor Visibility and A c c i d e n t s ...........
Headlamps
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Advances in Highway Lighting .............
143
143
147
147
148
148
149
151
153
154
155
155
160
161
162
175
175
177
179
185
187
189
190
192
193
194
195
Summary and I m p l i c a t i o n s ......................
197
B i b l i o g r a p h y ............................................
204
A p p e n d i x ...............................................
215
v
LIST OP ILLUSTRATIONS
Table
I
II
III
IV
Topic
Page
Types of Accidents Resulting in Deaths
and Injuries, 1940 ..........................
4
Pedestrian Actions, 1939 Motor Vehicle
Traffic Accidents
..........................
71
Condition of Vehicles Involved in Traffic
fatalities, 1939... ................ ..
120
Highway Characteristics, 1939 Patal Traffic
A c c i d e n t s ................................... 146
figure
I
Ratings of Automobiles on the Basis of
Design Elements
............................
114.115
II
Engineering Correction of a Dangerous Curve. 158
III
Traffic Islands Effect Accident Reduction
vi
. 159
CHAPTER I
THE PROBLEM
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to prepare a text that may
serve as a guide to students and teachers of traffic safety,
to safety workers, and to others wishing to become acquainted
with modern techniques for attacking accidents in traffic
through engineering, education, and enforcement.
It is intended to investigate the methods employed by publie officials, including traffic and highway engineers, school
authorities, and police officers, in preventing or reducing
traffic mishaps.
It is hoped to make available as widely as
possible the knowledge of the methods and techniques already
developed.
The present study seeks to group the information of au­
thoritative character in each of the three major approaches—
engineering, education, and enforcement—
in a single volume
for reference and comparison.
Scope and Delimitations of the Study
The study is devoted principally to state and community
methods of attacking traffic accidents.
It includes the tech­
niques employed by official or public agencies in each of the
fields of engineering, education, and enforcement.
2
It also includes investigation of techniques recommended
by recognized committees of experts in each area.
B y "recog­
nized committees of experts" is meant committees of which at
least one and preferably most of its members held a public
position (i.e., city traffic engineer, highway commissioner,
superintendent of schools, director of public safety, police
commissioner, and so forth) at the time the committee made its
recommendati ons•
The study does not attempt to evaluate the relative ef­
fectiveness of one set of techniques (such as those of the en­
forcement authorities) over another set (such as those of the
engineer or the educator).
It does not deal with problems of
financing traffic accident prevention programs.
Bor does it
concern itself with the economic aspects of motor vehicle ac­
cidents: the cost of these mishaps to the individual and the
community through lost time, medical expense, higher insurance
rates, and so forth, and their effect upon congestion and de­
lays in transportation.
A word must be added to obviate any impression that the
present study purports to be an encyclopaedic treatise cover­
ing the entire field of traffic engineering, education, and en­
forcement.
The study is limited to consideration of the traf­
fic accident problems or problem areas listed, and to presenta­
tion of various procedures or techniques applied by engineer­
ing, educational or enforcement authorities toward the reduc­
tion of accidents in those problem areas.
The techniques dis­
cussed in this study are widely used by school, engineering,
3
and police authorities, and are sufficient in number to be con­
sidered representative of the methods used to prevent or reduce
traffic accidents.
Specific Problems of the Study
The problem of this study concerns primarily the p r e s e n t s
tion of methods and techniques used for combatting traffic ac­
cidents.
The problem involves consideration of the following
sub-problemst
1.
The major problems ih traffic accidents, as shown by
fatality figures.
S.
Techniques recommended by engineering, educational,
or enforcement officials in attempting to solve the problems
listed.
Significance of the Study
Pew mechanical inventions of civilized man, with the possi­
ble exception of instruments of war, have brought such appaling
human suffering as the motor vehicle.
Space permits mention of
only a few salient features of a truly alarming national situa­
tion.1
Traffic Death Totals
The problem of accidents is one of the most serious in the
United States today.
As shown in Table I below (from Travelers
Insurance Company, Here Today —
gone Tomorrow, p.. 3), during
1940 it is estimated that 35,000 persons met death and 1,320,000
1.
Figures drawn from national Safety Council, Accident Facts
1940.
4
were injured In traffie accidenta.
She figures for 1940 are
only tentative; complete state reports on traffic deaths and
injuries are available only through 1939.
TABLE I
Types of Accidents Resulting in Deaths and Injuries— >1940
•
Person's
Killed
Per
Cent
Persons
Injured
£er
Cent
12,500
10,400
70
2,070
14®
100
3, 690
800
5,030
200
35.7
29.7
.2
5.9
.4
.3
10.5
2.3
14.4
.6
290,000
739,590
3,940
7,880
12,270
5,220
98,300
43,190
113,990
5,220
22.0
56.0
.3
.6
.9
.4
7.5
3.3
8.6
.4
35,000
100.0
1,320,000
100.0
COLLISION WITH*
Pedestrian
Automobile
Horse-drawn vehicle
Railroad train
Street car
Other vehicle
Fixed object
Bicycle
Non-collision
Miscellaneous
TOTAL
Rate of .-Increase
From 1923 to 1939 the number of persons hilled in automo­
bile accidents increased by nearly four-fifths.
1939 it increased by one-sixth.
From 1928 to
The 1939 toll of 32,600 lives
represented 35 per cent of all accidental deaths during the
year, and the largest total attributable to any type of acci­
dent.
In the same year motor vehicle accidents resulted in
1,150,000 non-fatal injuries.
Mileage Rate
On the basis of miles traveled, there was a drop of 30.1
per cent in traffic deaths between 1929 and 1939.
The number
5
of miles traveled by motor vehicles in 1939 is placed at 270
billion; the death rate per 100,000,000 miles at 12,1.
figures compare with 180 billion miles
These
traveled in 1929 and
a death rate for that year of 17.3 per 100,000,000 miles trav­
eled.
Traffic deaths per 100,000,000 vehicle miles in 1939 for
the country as a whole were 12.1; they ranged from 4.0 in Rhode
Island and 4.1 in the District of Columbia to 20.3 in Alabama
and 21.0 in South Carolina.
Twelve states had a rate below 10,
and 12 states a rate of 16 or over.
Population Rate
On the basis of population, the motor vehicle death rate
increased by 31 per cent since 1925.
Hotor vehicle deaths per
100,000 population in 1939 for the United States as a whole
were 24.9; they ranged from 9.7 in Rhode Island to 70.3 in
Nevada.
Thirteen states had a rate below 20, and 13 states a
rate of 30 or over.
Vehicle Registration Rate
Deaths per 10,000 motor vehicles registered were 11.7 in
1929 and 10.6 in 1939, a ten-year trend representing a decrease
of 9.4 per cent in the rate.
Types of Ratal Accidents
The 32,600 motor vehicTe fatalities in 1939 are classified
as follows* pedestrian, 38 per bent; collision with other motor
vehicles, 27 per cent; collision with vehicle other than a mo­
tor vehicle, 7 per cent; collision with fixed object, 3 per cent;
non-collision (skidding, etc.), 25 per cent.
6
Urban-Rural Trend
In the fifteen years from 1924 to 1939 traffic deaths in
rural areas and cities under 10,000 population increased by
130 per cent, -while fatalities in cities of over 10,000 popula­
tion went up by only 1 per cent.
Age Pro ups
Since 1922 the death rate among school children 5 to 14
years old has dropped by 31 per cent, while among pre-school
children, 0 to 4 years, it increased by 31 per cent.
In the
same period traffic deaths among the 15-24 age group rose by
144 per cent} among those 25-44 years old by 79 per cent, among
those 45-64 years old by 96 per cent, and among those 65 and
over by 103 per cent.
Traffic Accidents and Disease
The number of children killed in traffic during 1939 ex­
ceeded the combined toll among youngsters of scarlet fever,
diptheria, measles and whooping cough.
Darkness
During the six months when hours of daylight are fewest,
fatal night accidents in 1939 accounted for two-thirds of the
average day's death total.
During the six months of maximum
daylight, night accident deaths make up one-half of the daily
toll.
Right accidents soar in winter.
In December, 1939, five
out of every seven traffic fatalities occurred during hours of
duBk or darkness.
More than one-half of pedestrian deaths in
1939 occurred between 6 $.tf. and midnight.
Between 1930 and
1939 fatal traffic accidents after dark increased by 32 per
cent in rural districts, while they decreased by 11 per cent
in cities*
Traffic Accidents and National Defense
There is a widespread belief among traffic and safety publie officials that the national defense program, bringing in­
creased movement of motor vehicles along rural highways as well
as through urban streets, will probably result in still higher
death and injury tolls in traffic.
In this connection Norman
Damon, director, Automotive Safety Foundation, addressing the
Third Southern Safety Conference in Birmingham, Alabama, Febru­
ary 20, 1941, saidt
National defense has injected a new element of urgen­
cy in our accident prevention activities. Already the
step-up in industrial activity has been reflected in in­
creased highway use, for the transportation of men to
their jobs, for the conveyance of goods and commodities,
and for other essential transportation services which
the motor vehicle now performs, day by day, in every com­
munity*
In this situation lies a challenge and opportunity
which should fire the imagination and call forth right
now the best efforts of all who are concerned with order­
ly development of traffic facilities. 1
Engineering. Educational, and Enforcement Approaches
It seems evident that an essential step toward the ameliora­
tion of some of the appalling conditions suggested is an under­
standing of the factors involved in the traffic problem and of
the methods being applied in attempts to improve the situation*
While a large number of pamphlets and articles dealing with
1.
Press release sent to the writer by Automotive Safety Foundation.
8
limited areas of the subject exist* the material for the most
part is scattered.
For example* it is very difficult for the
teacher of safety to find out what the highway and traffic engineers are doing to bring about greater safety on street and
highway* or what devices the enforcement officer uses for the
same purpose.
It is possible that a combined presentation of each of the
approaches of the engineers* the educators* and the enforcement
officials to the specific problems of traffic accidents may
lead to a better understanding of the effects of each.
This
understanding may in turn encourage a greater measure of cooper­
ation of safety teachers* pupils* and others with the constituted
authorities in their efforts to reduce traffic mishaps.
The need for a volume that would bring our knowledge of
traffic safety control up to date is further indicated by the
fact that in recent years a number of techniques have proved
highly effective.
What these techniques are* and under what
circumstances they are useful* would be of value in directing
efforts toward traffic accident prevention.
Such a study may
also be useful in pointing to overlappings or loopholes in pre­
sent methods of attacking motor vehicle accidents.
In this brief presentation of the traffic accident situation
no attempt has been made to set forth the undoubted benefits
brought to modern sooiety by the automobile.
Such factors as
improved communication* closer social contacts* enhanced educa­
tional opportunities for communities formerly isolated* and the
opening of wider recreational facilities have been considered
as beyond the immediate interest of this study.
CHAPTER II
BACKGROUND OF THE PROBLEM
Intensification of Traffic Accident Problem
Sixteen years ago McClintock brought out what is considered
the first and* to date* only comprehensive study1 dealing with
the three general aspects of traffic accidents--engineering* edu­
cational* and enforcement.
Since that time the entire picture
of motor vehicle transportation and accidents in the United
States has changed radically.
Hot only are there a great many
more motor vehicles in operation— 30*615*000 in 1939 against
O
19*937*000 in 1925** an increase of approximately 50 per cent—
but the average speed at which both passenger and commercial
vehicles are normally driven has about doubled since then.
Deaths in traffic increased from 21,877 in 1925 to 32*600 in
1939.3
The amount of travel by motor vehicle, as measured by
gasoline consumption* more than doubled since 1925.*
The
changes have been so rapid and widespread that it is not sur­
1.
Miller IdClintock, Street Traffic Control.
Graw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1925'.
Hew York* Mc­
2.
Automobile Manufacturers Association* Automobile Facts and
Figures. 1940, p. 11.
3.
National. Safety Counail, Acoident Facts* 1940. p. 84.
**
Automobile Facts and Figures, op. oit.* p. 69.
10
prising that miaadjustments hare resulted— miaadjustments of
drivers and pedestrians to faster moving vehicles and more
crowded streets; of the old-design highway to the new-design
vehiole; of governmental controls to the problems brought about
by the "automotive revolution".
Today more factual data are available with regard to traf­
fic accidents, although there is a considerable lag with regard
to their application.
State highway departments have recognized
that progress in accident elimination can be made only upon the
basis of facts.
Through the cooperation of the United States
Public Roads Administration and state and oity departments, there
has been rapid growth in the gathering of traffic data.
Again, much progress has been made in administration of
rules and regulations for the better control and direction of
traffic.
As late as 1925 police departments were still feeling
their way, and many did not have a specialized traffic force.
Jfor had the courts adjusted themselves to the flood of cases
dealing with traffic accidents and violations.
The profession of traffic engineering has in the last ten
years expanded its ranks and materially improved its methods.
In the past decade highway designers have learned much to en­
able them to build inherently safer roadways,
sufficient time has passed
furthermore, a
; t .. t many of the original designs
have been improved or discarded through accumulation of experi­
ence.
Educators, too, have come to recognize the role of the
school in the prevention of traffic accidents, primarily to
11
ohildren but also to adults.
Especially in recent years the
movement for accident prevention through eduoation has vastly
expanded, leading on one hand to safety legislation and state
courses of study in safety, and on the other to the develop­
ment of improved methods for preparing youngsters to avoid op­
portunities for mishaps.
Specific application of the advances just outlined in each
area of engineering, enforcement, and education for traffic ac­
cident prevention sill be discussed in Chapter IV and subse­
quent chapters.
Development of Traffic Legislation
Motor vehicle legislation in the United States developed
spasmodically.
As the automobile assumed greater importance in
the national life, state after state and municipality after munic­
ipality enacted legislative measures or ordinances dictated by
their own viewpoints or desires, without too much concern for
what their neighbors were doing in the same matter.
By the early twenties the confusion engendered in the aver­
age motorist by the multiplicity and diversity of traffic regula­
tions had become sufficiently serious to worry traffic safety men
and motor vehicle and highway officials in many states.
It was
clearly recognized by those who took part in the first National
Conference on Street and Highway Safety in Washington, D. C., in
1924.
In fact, the formulation of the Uniform Vehicle Code (dis­
cussed below) followed recognition by the traffic and safety
leaders who attended the conference that the time had arrived to
end the welter o£ conflicting rules, regulations, signs and signals
12
that confused rather than guided motorists all orer the country.
This lack of uniformity has persisted.
A comprehensive
analysis of state traffic lass made under the direction of the
United States Public Roads Administration during 1937 revealed
*an utter lack of uniformity* in essential features of motor
vehicle and highway law among the states.1
She study found an undesirable variation in methods of recording and analysing accident data; that only a few of the
states required official inspection of motor vehiole equipment,
and that those which required such inspections differed widely
as to type and frequency of inspection.
It found that accident-
prone drivers exist, and youthful drivers had an abnormally high
accident rate, yet many states failed to provide rigid enough
examination before granting driving licenses.
A review of the status of traffic legislation shows that
by 1939 all but three states had driver license laws and all
but two states had enforcement organizations on full or part
time traffic duty.
Nevertheless the Automotive Safety Founda­
tion found that to conform to the Uniform Vehicle Code, substan­
tial improvement in driver licensing, accident reporting or
both was needed in at least 24 states; and that practically all
states needed some changes to effect uniformity of equipment and
rules of the road, while others needed complete/new traffic laes.^
1.
Highway Acaidents— Thei r Causes and Recommendat ions for
Their Prevention.
. " , Washingtons U. S. Government Print­
ing Office* 1$3&* p. 2.
2.
Automotive Safety Foundation, Orderly Traffic— .The Automotive
Safety Objective. 1959, p. Id*
13
Steps Toward Standardization
The fundamentals for standardization of traffic laws and
regulations in the United States are provided in the Uniform
Vehicle Code and the Model Traffic Ordinances.
Closely allied
to these legislative standards is the Manual on Uniform Traffic
Control Devices* officially recommended to supplement the code
and the ordinances.
Other standards aimed at securing greater safety in traf­
fic through uniform procedures have been developed in recent
years or are in process of development.
In 1959 the American
Standards Association* in answer to demands from the field* or­
ganized a Highway Traffic Standards Committee to coordinate the
work of developing traffic standards.
This committee* which
for the first time brought together all national groups direct­
ly interested in standards in motor* highway and traffic fields*
represented a concerted effort on the part of eighteen national
organizations to reduce accidents through more orderly engineer­
ing practices and requirements.
The pages that follow discuss briefly some of the major
standards developed1 in the interest of more nearly uniform traf­
fic laws and practices.
Uniform Vehicle Code
The Uniform Vehicle Code1 is recognized today as the basis
for uniform traffic regulations by the BtateB.
1.
The code was
18sued under the imprimatur of the United States Bureau of
Public Roads* which in 1938 became the Public Roads Admin­
istration of the Public Works Agency.
14
originally prepared in 1925*26 by a large and representative
committee of traffic specialists and public officials concerned
with highway safety* and was adopted in 1926 by the Second Na­
tional Conference on Street and Highway Safety* and also by the
National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and
the American Bar Association.
Revisions of the original code
were made by the National Conference on Street and Highway Safe­
ty in 1930* in 1934* and in 193S* for the purpose of extending
its provisions and changing others to cope with new conditions.
For the present purposes* the most significant part of the
Uniform Vehicle Code is Part V* entitled "Uniform Act Regulat­
ing Traffic on Highways".
In summary* the provisions of Part V
includes
Article II - The Act shall be applicable and uniform through­
out the state* and no local authority shall enact conflicting
regulations save in purely local matters.
Article III - The State Highway Commission shall adopt a
uniform system of traffic control devices conforming to the
system approved by the American Association of State Highway
Officials*
Article IV - A driver involved in an accident resulting
in injury* or death* or damage to vehicle* shall stop* render
aid and identify himself*
Article V - A person who drives "in willful or wanton dis­
regard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reck­
less driving*"
Article VI - Speed should never be greater than is "reason-
15
able and prudent under the conditions.»
States are urged to
establish speed zones to guide motorists" speed under varying
highway conditions.
Article VII - The state highway authority is authorized
to establish zones forbidding overtaking and passing where it
would be specially hazardous.
Article VIII - A three-position method of giving hand and
arm signals is described, and rules given for turning, start­
ing and stopping.
Article IX - In general, a driver approaching an intersec­
tion shall yield the right of way to one who has already entered
it.
Article X - Pedestrians shall be subject to traffic con­
trol signals at Intersections.
Pedestrians have the right of
way over vehicles at crosswalks, but when crossing at other
than crosswalks Bhall yield the right of way to vehicles.
Article XI - Traffic laws apply to bicyclists.
Article XII - Driving through a safety zone is prohibited.
Article XIII - Vehicles must come to a stop before crossing
through highways.
They shall also stop at railroad grade cross­
ings until it is safe to proceed.
Article X I V - maerever possible, stopping or parking should
be done off the traveled part of the highway.
Article XV - It is a misdemeanor to drive a vehicle which
is "in suoh unsafe condition as to endanger any person" or which
does not have the proper equipment.
Article XVII - The Commissioner will require periodic in-
16
speetlon of every registered motor vehicle once or twice each
year.
A n official certificate of Inspection shall be obtained
for each vehicle with respect to specified items of the mechan.
ism, brakes, and equipment.
liodel Traffic Ordinances
To supplement for municipalities the Uniform Vehicle Code
of state legislation, the National Conference on Street and
Highway Safety in 1927.28 prepared the first model municipal
traffic ordinance.
This was revised by the conference in 1930
and again in 1934, at which latter date the previous single or­
dinance was divided into three parts.1
Part I, entitled *Model Municipal Traffic Ordinance,* con.
tains regulations on obedience to traffic laws and traffic con.
trol devices; on stopping, standing, and parking; on the opera,
tion of motor vehicles; on pedestrians' rights and duties, etc.
Part II, *Model Traffic Administrative Ordinance,* provides
for administrative officers to deal with traffic, defines the
duties of the Traffic Division and of the City Traffic Engineer,
and provides for the establishment of a Traffic Violations Bureau.
Part III, "State Law Provisions Which Might Be Included in
the Traffic Ordinance," contains regulations drawn from the Uni­
form Vehicle Code, Act V, and indicates the articles in which
the state provisions may appropriately be included.
1.
Model Traffio Ordinances. As revised and approved by the
Eourth Hational Conference on Street and Highway Safety,
May 23.25, 1934. Washington, D. C.
17
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
In January 1927 the American Association of State Highway
Officials^ issued* as the first definite, step toward standardiza­
tion of traffic control devices* a manual of signs for use pri­
marily on rural highways.
This established distinguishing shapes
and color combinations for different types of signs and included
standards for marking principal routes.
In response to a de­
mand for a similar manual of standards for urban use* the Ameri­
can Engineering Council* at the request of the National Confer­
ence on Street and Highway Safety* developed a manual embrac­
ing signs* traffic signals* markings* and safety zones.
This
was approved by the Third National Conference on Street and
Highway Safety in 1930.
In 1932 the work of revising and consolidating both manuals
was begun by a Joint Committee on Uniform Traffic Control De­
vices appointed by the American Association of State Highway
Officials and the National Conference on Street and Highway
Safety.
The new Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for
Street8 and Highways was approved as an American standard by
the American Standards Association on November 7* 1935.
This
manual is in strict conformity with the Uniform Vehicle Code
and the Model Municipal Traffic Ordinance.
It details the ap­
plication* design* location* installation and maintenance of all
1.
Organized in 1914 with headquarters in Washington* D. C.
It is composed of the state highway directors of all the
states* the District of Columbia and the Hawaiian iBlands*
and the U. S. Public Roads Administration.
18
signs, markings, signals and islands, and represents the most
effective techniques recognized by outstanding practitioners
of the art of traffic control.
In accordance
with Federal-aid regulations, the specifi­
cations laid dosn in the ttanual are a part of the official stan­
dards for Federal-aid highways.
Among the major recommendations of the Joint Committee, em­
bodied in the introduction to the Manual, ares
1.
Universal adoption of the sign shapes as basic symbols.
2.
Hight illumination of the outlines of Stop and Sloe
signs.
3.
Yellow background and message in black for warning
and Stop signs.
4.
Determination of traffic control requirements in every
case on the basis of sound engineering principles es­
tablished by factual studies.
5.
Adequate but not excessive use of warning signs, des­
tination signs, route-marker8 and other means of facil­
itating orderly traffic.
Standardized Accident Reports
The necessity for compulsory accident reporting has become
generally recognized today.
Only eight states in 1940 did not
require the reporting of motor vehicle accidents to a central
state enforcement or administrative office.
The data collected from drivers and from other sources—
witnesses, investigating officers, coroners, garages, and re­
pair shops— are absolutely essential to the correct diagnosis
19
and treatment of accident causes.
The reports are confidential,
and under the uniform accident reporting law of the Uniform
Vehicle Code cannot be used as evidence in any civil or criminal
trial arising out of the accident.
Standard forms for reporting accidents have been developed
by the National Safety Council and endorsed by the United States
Public Roads Administration.
Twenty-seven states in 1940 had,
through adoption or revision, accident report forms and methods
that are substantially standard, and eleven more states are re­
ported to be actively contemplating their adoption.1
The acci­
dent reports, collected from all parts of each state, are sum­
marized, studies and analyzed in accordance with a standardized
procedure.
One of the most important enforcement uses of accident re­
ports is that they make available the accident experience of
each driver.
Summaries of the reports are also used through
schools, newspapers, and other media to direct educational ef­
fort for accident prevention.
The highway designer uses acci­
dent data as the basis for correcting deficiencies in the road­
way.
The traffic engineer finds accident reports indispensable
in the study and solution of special traffic accident problems.**
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
On MAy 27, 1939, the Interstate Commerce Commission ap-
1.
Automotive Safety Foundation, Highway Safety Digest, 1940,
p. 9.
2.
For additional details see National Safety Council, Standard
Traffic Accident Reporting System for States, Parts I-Xyil•
7
20
proved additions to and revisions in the Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations established in December 1936.
The revised regula­
tions, prescribed under authority of the Motor Carrier Aot of
1935, include six partes (l) Qualifications of Drivers;
Driving of Motor Vehicles;
(2)
(3) Parts and Accessories Necessary
for Safe Operation; (4) Reporting of Accidents; (5) Hours of
Service of Drivers, and (6) Inspection and Maintenance.
Vhile these Federal standards for safety of operation and
equipment apply officially only to common carriers and contract
carriers by motor vehicles in interstate or foreign commerce,
they are bound to have a salutary influence upon intrastate and
private automobile operations as veil.
Highway Design Standards
Developments in roadway design will be discussed at greater
length later, but it is appropriate to call attention at this
point to the establishment of a committee on design by the Amer­
ican Association of State Highway Officials.
This must be viewed
as a most significant forward step in the development of a sound
relationship between the highway and the traffic it must bear,
and consequently in accident reduction.
This committee has made
progress in preliminary classification of highways in accordance
with traffic density and speed; with respect to sight distance
and curvature for designed speeds, and with the design of inter­
sections.
The vast highway-planning studies conducted under auspices
of the Public Roads Administration will unquestionably help to
set modern standards in many aspects of road design, comparable
21
to the standards which for many years hare been established with
respect to highway construction materials and methods*
Other Standards
Standard procedures recently developed under official aus­
pices for examining and licensing drivers and for inspecting
vehicles, will be discussed respectively in Chapters 17 and V*
She standards cited, as well as other standard tests and
requirements already established or in process of development,
represent impressive strides toward the adoption of sound uni­
form methods to increase safety on highways and streets.
By
bringing together these standards in application to specific
traffic accident problems it is hoped that this study will con­
tribute to the prevention of such accidents .1
Application of Methods and Techniques
Discussion of the development of uniform standards and
procedures brings up a question of importance to all traffic
safety workers and any who may seek to apply the techniques
described in the present study.
It is generally conceded that uniformity is essential and
that the way to compensate for local conditions is to use studies
that will make a traffic sign, for example, adequate for the im­
mediate circumstances but still in conformity with the broad
standards established.
Within the standards themselves are
ample opportunities for differences made necessary by local con­
ditions.
1.
Standardization is not a static but a continuing pro­
The Bibliography gives a representative list of materials
available in each area of traffic safety.
22
cess.
The fact that the codes have, as indicated,
undergone
revisions demonstrates that the process of standardization is
never completed*
Apropos of this, part of an article hy the investigator
which appeared in The Hew York Times on August 8 , 1937, may
he quoted?
Sometimes it takes a good deal of experimentation be­
fore the desired results can he achieved and there seems
to he no general rule.
A type of sign which works well
at one intersection may lead to accidents at a location
apparently similar.
A classic instance is cited of a crossing of two im­
portant routes in an unnamed town. Residents would stand
on a hluff to witness the collisions at the intersection
every Sunday.
The visibility for drivers was excellent
on all sides, hut few obeyed the "Slow" signs placed at
all four approaches. A flashing beacon failed to obtain
better observance, although its position was changed sev­
eral times. Even "Stop" signs got little attention from
the motorists. Finally, with the installation of trafficactuated signals having green and red lights, accidents
at that point were reduced by 90 per cent.
Local. Individual Approach
In June, 1940, the writer visited Waterbury, Connecticut,
Worcester, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, for the
purpose of studying at first hand what these communities, all
with excellent traffic safety records, were doing to control
motor vehicle mishapB.
Part of the data gathered will be pre­
sented at appropriate places in this study; at this point it
is proper to report upon the necessity for local, individual
application of standards or techniques as revealed by the field
study.
The facts were gathered through interviews with police,
traffic engineering and school officials, supplemented by talks
with members of oitizens' safety committees.
23
Perhaps the outstanding revelation of the safety methods
used in the cities cited was that the wav in which safety methods
are applied is fully as important as what methods are applied.
That is, community traffic-safety work is a dynamic process in
which the community itself takes an active part in construotingf
guiding and modifying the program in accordance with local cir­
cumstances.
As one official interviewed put it, “There isn't a method—
procedures must he adapted to different situations."
Thus it
must he recognized that there are individual differences among
communities as well as among persons, and that a given remedy
is not equally effective in every community, nor can it he ap­
plied in the same way in one community as in another.
The case
history of the community, its tolerance of the treatment pro­
posed, and as it were its day-hy-day pulse must he taken into
account.
While the objectives remain the same, the methods
used in bringing about changes in the traffic behavior of a
community must he carefully adjusted to its needs and conditions.
This might he termed the sociological approach to traffic
safety.
A traffic safety program cannot he imposed upon a com­
munity (or an individual); the program cannot he disassociated
from the setting; the two must work hand-in-hand and reciprocal­
ly.
In the opinion of this investigator, the “best* safety plan
conceived abstractly will fail if its application does not fit
local differences.
Local Differences
Among these differences may he listed:
24
1.
Existing degree of public's background in safety
and traffic matters.
This includes education,
attitudes, community habits and tradition.
2.
Public *8 acceptance of and cooperation with of­
ficial authorities, espeoially the police.
This
in turn depends upon vatious background factors,
such as the reputation of the police for fairness,
and the quality of enforcement.
3.
Predominant type of citizenry, further classified
according to racial, political, economic and other
characteristics.
4.
Calibre of newspaper support and its influence
upon its readers (community) and the administra­
tion (political and police primarily).
5.
Degree of "safety-mindedness* among sohool lead­
ers, and extent and effectiveness of sohool traf­
fic safety program.
6.
Sincerity of safety program leaders, especially
mayor and chief of police, and degree to which
the public is confident of this sincerity.
Doubtless there are other factors, but, according to the
data gathered, the above are among those which should be studied
before a successful attack can be made upon motor vehicle acci­
dents.
A. worthwhile project for a community safety director
would appear to be preparation in chart form of the groundwork
necessary before a safety program may be instituted, together
with criteria for evaluating the various factors.
25
Safety From Within
A~corollary to the individualized approach, as it appears
to the writer, is that a traffic accident-prevention program
may not be imposed from without, but must develop within the
community.
In this respect the war on accidents is distinctly
a cooperative enterprise,
this does not, of course, preclude
the assistance and guidance of outside agencies; in fact they
are doubly needed because of the experience they represent.
Another corollary is that a program in a single community
in a state does not seem to be as effective as when supplement­
ed by parallel programs in several cities in the same state or
region.
This, in accordance with the data gathered, tends to
produce competition, a sense of solidarity and teamwork, and
interchange of valuable suggestions.
One comment made in this
connection by a member of Worcester's traffic safety committee
was that a city's traffic safety program should extend to neigh­
boring communities, because motorists from these sections use
the city Btreets and need to be brought into the aeoident-prevention "net" as much as the local motorists.
It was suggested
more than once that such interrelation of safety work was es­
sential but was seldom if ever found in any of the three states
visited.
To conclude this discussion, the moral appears to be, on
the evidence of the visits mentioned, that caution must be ex­
ercised in applying even the*best recognized standards or meth­
ods of accident prevention.
Xhey probably will not succeed if
they go counter to local traditions or conditions; to illustrate,
f
26
the type of pedestrian control b y police methods which has worked
well in Zvanston, Illinois, has proved a failure repeatedly in
New York City.
,
The reader should bear this principle in mind when consider­
ing the methods and techniques discussed in the pages that fol­
low.
CHAPTER III
PROCEDURE
In general, the procedure followed in this study included:
(l) analysis of traffic accident statistics and supporting data,
based on official reports of the United States Bureau of the
Census and of all the states and the District of Columbia; and
of authoritative information in the field, especially informa­
tion in publications by official agencies (such as United States
Public Roads Administration and state departments of motor ve­
hicles) and by semi-official organizations whose membership in­
cludes public officials (such as American Association of Motor
Vehicle Administrators, American Association of State Highway
Officials, and National Conference on Street and Highway Safety);
and (2) personal visits to a number of cities where low traffic
accident rates suggested that effective traffic safety work was
being done, and interviews with engineering,
educational and
enforcement authorities in the communities visited; as well as
interviews with many recognized leaders in the traffic safety
movement, with who m the investigator has had personal acquain­
tance for a number of years.
Speoifio attention will now be given to the major problems
involved in traffio accidents, the sources of information con­
cerning the techniques employed toward the solution of those
28
problems, and the treatment of the data thus collected.
the Major Problems Involved in Traffio Accidents
On the basis of authoritative traffio accident report b ,
particularly the statistics in the National Safety Council's
Accident Pacta 1940 Edition and the data in the United States
Public Roads Administration's Highway Accidents; Their Causes
and Recommendations for their Prevention,
(1938), the major prob­
lems of traffic accidents may be grouped in three categories.
These ares (l) problems chiefly involving human characteristics—
of drivers or pedestrians;
(Z) problems chiefly involving charac­
teristics of the vehicle; and (3) problems chiefly involving
characteristics of the roadway.
In such grouping, consideration
was given to the fact that many traffic accidents are the result
of more than one contributing factor.
Collection of Data
The materials and information concerning the techniques
used toward solving the problems grouped in the three categories
listed above are of two major types: (a) written materials, and
(b) interviews.
Written Materials
In collecting written materials for the present study the
investigator consulted:
1.
The libraries on traffic safety and allied subjects
maintained by the New York University Center for Safety Educa­
tion, the National Conservation Bureau, the Yale University Bureau
for Street Traffio Research, and the Yale University Institute
29
of Human Relations*
2.
Traffic and safety studies by all these organizations
as veil as by the National Safety Council, United States Public
Roads Administration, Highway Research Board, International As­
sociation of Chiefs of Police, American Association of Rotor
Vehicle Administrators, American Association of State Highway
Officials, Automotive Safety Foundation, American Automobile
Association, Institute of Traffic Engineers, National Education
Association, American Road Builders' Association, and other
national organizations in fields related to traffic safety; and
traffic literature issued by state motor vehicle departments,
especially of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Massachu­
setts; by the Highway Safety Commission of Connecticut, and by
police departments and other official sources in Providence,
Rhode Island, Worcester, Massachusetts, and Hartford and Waterbury, Connecticut.
3.
Proceedings, particularly of the years 1935-1940, of
the Highway Research Board, National Safety Council, Institute
of Traffic Engineers, American Association of State Highway Of­
ficials, Commercial Investment Trust Safety Foundation's Semi­
nars of Safety, and others; and abstracts of proceedings of two
safety conferences sponsored in 1940 by the New York University
Center for Safety Education (listed in the Bibliography)*
4.
Standard manuals and codes developed or sponsored by
the National Conference on Street and Highway Safety, United
States Public Roads Administration, American Association of Motor
Vehicle Administrators, Interstate Commerce Commission, and Amer­
ican Standards Association.
30
5.
Periodicals in the traffic and safety fields, listed
in the Bibliography.
6 . Bibliographies in the field of study, a list of which
will be found in the Bibliography appended to this study.
Interviews
Considerable first-hand information and much material was
gathered through visits made by this investigator to schools,
traffic engineering offices, and police departments in Waterbury, Connecticut, Worcester,Massachusetts, and Providence,
Rhode Island, all of which cities have attained outstanding suc­
cess in reducing traffic mishaps.
In the course of these visits
the following types of materials were collecteds
Traffic safety posters
Radio speeches and newspaper stories prepared by
police
Press news stories, feature articles and editorials
dealing with local traffic situations
Police department accident prevention bureau's re­
ports and statistical analyses
Bicycle safety campaign material and photographs
Pedestrian safety campaign materials
Safety pledge cards distributed to pedestrians and
motorists
Letters sent by police to clergy, manufacturers,
etc., in behalf of traffic safety
Results of highway safety te 3t at a boys' trade sohool
Copies of addresses by police officers and traffic
engineers
Newspaper lists of traffic court cases, with names,
addresses, and sentences imposed upon violators
51
Publicity material prepared by police, highway
safety eommisaion, citizens traffic safety committee, and others on removal of unsafe vehicles
and on other phases of the w a r on traffic acci­
dents.
Notes on the interviews held with school, traffic engineer­
ing, and enforcement officials in the three cities mentioned
above are given in the Appendix to this study.
The three prinoipal questions to which answers were sought
in the interviews were:
1.
Why* in your opinion, has the safety movement in your
city been a success, and what are the ma.jor factors
which have made it so?
2.
What, methods and procedures do you use to bring about
these results?
3.
What other things do you reoommend doing to produce
further improvement?
In addition to the interviews may be mentioned the many
suggestions received from (l) the director and staff members of
the New York University Center for Safety Education;
(2) the
staff of the National Conservation Bureau, who furnished many
actual examples of work being done toward accident reduction by
traffic engineering offices and educators in various cities
(see Appendix); (3) the staff of the Yale University Bureau for
Street Traffic Research; (4) the staff of the American Automo­
bile Association;
(5) various professors at New York University,
particularly those on this investigator's advisory committee;
(6) the director and staff of the Yale University Institute of
Human Relations;
(7) many traffic engineers who are friends of
this writer, and (8 ) many others who answered speoifio questions,
among whom may be oited Thomas H. MacDonald, Commissioner, Pub­
lic Roads Administration; Carroll E. Mealey, Motor Vehicle Com­
missioner of Sew York; Michael A. Connor, Motor Vehicle Commis­
sioner of Connecticut; and police officials of Sew York, Hart­
ford, Sew Haven, Worcester (Massachusetts), and other cities.
References to the interviews held and to specific facts ob­
tained in conversation or through correspondence will be found
throughout the text of this study.
Treatment of the Data
The information gathered from the sources herein cited
dealt with the previously mentioned major categories of prob­
lems involved in traffic accidents, namely (l) the problems in­
volving drivers and pedestrians,
(2) the problems involving
characteristics of the motor vehicle, and (3) the problems in­
volving characteristics of the roadway.
In the chapters that follow each problem is analyzed in
terms of the possible contributions toward its solution by the
traffic and highway engineer, the educator and the enforcement
authority.
These possible contributions were viewed with re­
ference to the following techniques:
1.
Engineering techniques: (a) traffic engineering tech­
niques, including signs, signals, markings, and islands; speed,
zoning and no-passing zones; correcting dangerous locations;
protecting the pedestrian through traffic engineering devices;
(b) highway engineering techniques, including elements of road
design (building safety into the highway); locating highway
hazards; correcting highway hazards through elimination of sharp
33
curves, provision of longer sight distances, better illumina­
tion, and wider lanes; and construction of by-passes and limit­
ed ways, and sidewalks for pedestrians along rural highways.
2.
Educational techniques: (a) child safety education tech­
niques, including reporting and analysis of accidents to sohool
children; methods of teaching traffic safety; safety patrols;
driver education and training, and sohool safety councils; and
(b) adult safety education techniques, including improving the
adult driver through clinics; adult driver training schools;
violators' schools; detecting the accident repeater; corrective
methods for accident repeaters and accident-prone drivers; and
educating the adult pedestrian.
3.
Enforcement techniques, including enforcement of motor
vehicle laws and traffio regulations; "no fixing" of traffic
summonses; methods of dealing with violators; selective enforce­
ment procedures; curbing drunken drivers, and curbing reckless
pedestrians through law enforcement.
Consideration was given to the interrelationship of the
engineering, educational, and enforcement techniques when applied
to some of the problems analyzed.
Thus, whenever a traffic en­
gineering technique, for example, was found to have supplementary
values in education or enforcement, that fact was noted.
CHAPTER IV
HUMAN FACTORS INVOLVED IN ACCIDENTS
This chapter will examine some of the human factors involved
in traffic accidents, considering them under two principal class­
ifications,
(1) drivers and (2) pedestrians.
In addition, brief
consideration will be given to (3) bicyclists and (4) the com­
munity.
For convenience, the drinking driver and the drinking
pedestrian will be considered together.
Drivers will be further
subdivided into (a) the accident repeater or accident-prone
driver, and (b) the young driver.
Consideration of the pedes­
trian will involve discussion of (a) the aged, ignorant, or
physically handicapped pedestrian,
(b) the immature pedestrian,
and (c) the "indifferent" pedestrian, all of whom figure fre­
quently in traffio accidents.
Bodily Defects of Drivers and Pedestrians
Exact figures are lacking with reference to the part that
physioal defects and bodily impairments among drivers contri­
bute to fatal accidents.
On the basis of state reports the Na­
tional Safety Council estimates that a driver defect (including
being asleep or fatigued) contributed to 4 per cent of the fatal
motor vehicle mishaps in 1939.
Five per cent of pedestrians who
met death in traffic were reported to have been physioally de-
35
fective (the physically handicapped pedestrian is diseusaed
more fully later)*
"It is not unlikely,■ the Counoil adds,
"that thorough examination would shoe that a defect, possibly
unknown to the driver or pedestrian, contributed to many more
accidents.
Examination and Licensing of Drivers
The examination of all applicants for driving licenses is
a well recognized method of preventing unfit or unskilled driv­
ers from operating motor vehicles.
The Uniform Vehicle Code
provides through its Standard Drivers' License Law for both a
test on traffic rules and regulations and a practical driving
test of approximately twenty minutes.
Besides requiring every
would-be operator to pass an examination, the Standard Law would
dehy licenses to the following persons, among others:( 1) per­
sons under the legal age limit, with the exception of youngsters
to whom junior or restricted licenses may be issued; (2) those
who have failed in the examination; (3) those afflicted with a
mental disability or a disease; (4) habitual drunkards and nar­
cotic drug addicts; (5) those whose licenses have been revoked
or suspended, during the period of such suspension or revoca­
tion.
The Standard Law also sets forth the conditions under which
license revocation is mandatory upon the administrator, and
lists other offenses for which the licensed operator may be sus­
pended at the administrator's discretion.
1.
Accident Facts 1940, p. 36.
Thus, through power
v
f
i
56
to revoke and suspend, the drivers* license law places a heavy
weapon of enforcement in the administrator's hands.
Licensing
of drivers also exerts an educational influenoe by setting a
standard which all prospective operators must meet and by im­
pressing upon the driver that operating a motor vehicle is a
privilege extended only to those who are qualified and who con­
tinue to use the highways in a legal and safe manner.
The examination of new applicants is generally simple,
and the great majority usually pass at the first or second try.
Tests of vision in connection with examination for lioenses
are not used in all states.
There are grounds for the criticism
that the standards of examination for new drivers are too lax ,1
and for the belief that a thorough physical examination would
go far toward eliminating potentially dangerous operators.
Among present inadequacies are cited (l) lack of training
of examiners,
(2) insufficient number of examiners, and (3) the
Q
limited time available for
examination of applicants.
Admit­
ting lack of examining personnel and funds, Robert Ualloy,
statistician of the New York State Bureau of Rotor Vehicles,
1.
Driver license laws should "include a rigid requirement
of an adequate examination and text, such examination
and test to be given by full-time examiners especially
qualified for the purpose." Highway Accidents, p. 16.
2.
Cited ip an interview by Herbert J. Stack, Director, New
York University Center for Safety Education.
]
37
points out that the Bureau has created, an Inspection Division
Sohool for Examiners .1
Further research appears necessary to determine what ele­
ments of a driver examination have greatest predictive value
as to the operator's safe behavior at the wheel.
For instance,
in view of the limited time and funds available, how much atten­
tion should be devoted to tests for oolor blindness?
"We may
state in general that while color blindness has received a great
deal of attention, in reality it is a minor factor of the group
of visual limitations which affect driving," it is asserted .2
Although admitting that
guarantee that a driver will
the most rigid examination is no
not be involved
in accidents, Mhl-
loy holds that "there can be no question" that the examination
of operators "produces better operators; and that the thought
of losing one's license to drive or of being arrested has
curbed the reckless acts of many ."3
Moreover, it is pointed that examination of driver license
applicants helps in "eliminating more and more the inexperi­
enced and unfit drivers from the highway and replacing them
with a larger number of skilled operators .*4
Again,
it is held
1.
See Traffic Safety Methods for Motor Vehicle Examiners.
Lecture Materials for the Course Conducted by the Hew
York State Bureau of Motor Vehicles in cooperation with
the Mew York University Center for Safety Education,
October, 1940, to February, 1941.
2.
Milton D. Kramer, "Physical and Mental Factors Affecting
the Ability to Drive Safely," in Traffic Safety Methods
for Motor Vehicle Examiners.
3.
Malloy,op. eit.
4.
Ibid., "Mindmum Driving License Standards and Procedures."
38
that states which do not examine drivers “have shown consider­
ably less improvement in their safety records when compared
with states which have been examining over a long period of time.**
Driver Testing Standards
In 1939 the American Association of Motor Vehicle Adminis­
trators issued a series of minimum standards for the examination
of driver license applicants.
O
The investigators found that while a few of the states had
established legal control over drivers as far back as the begin­
ning of the century* most states did not enact driver license
legislation until the decade beginning with 1930.
As for the
examination of drivers* not only have most present-day drivers
received a license without an examination* but there is very
little uniformity in the various requirements in existence in
the different states today.
At the time the manual was pre­
pared* twelve states did not examine drivers.
The following tests are recommended* hearing* road sign
reading* vision* law* and road driving.
The road test includes
situations for starting, shifting* applying brakes* turning around, backing, and parking; right and left turns* observing
signs and giving signals; passing and being passed; starting and
stopping on hills; and control of speed according to conditions.
1.
Loc. Cit.
2.
See the Association's Minimum Driver License Examination
Standards and Driver License Examination Procedure, list­
ed' in the Bibliography.
59
Smoothness in driving, attentiveness, and attitude toward others
are also to he taken into account; b y the examiner.
Shortly after adoption of the driver testing standards,
Alabama, Hew Jersey, and Utah held training schools for examin­
ers, using the approved procedure as a basis.
More recently
Hew York and South Carolina have held such schools,
The schools
were set up in cooperation with the American Association of Mo­
tor Vehicle Administrators and the Rational Safety Council*3,
At the beginning of 1940, forty-five states had driver li­
cense laws, but in most cases substantial improvement would
have to be made to bring existing laws to the standard of the
Uniform Code.
The National Safety Council publishes pamphlets
and other materials on various phases of driver licensing and
testing.**
Accident Repeater and Accident-Prone Driver
That the accident repeater or prone-to-accident driver ex­
ists, just as much as the man in industry who is often involved
in accidents, has been known for many years.
The most exhaus­
tive study so far made of this type of accident-maker was that
conducted under direction of the United States Bureau of Public
1*
See also Driver Manual, issued 1940 by American Association
of Motor v W i e l e Administrators for the use of applicants
for drivers' licenses.
2.
See the Council's Standard Drivers' License and Accident
Reporting Laws; Bnforcement for Traffic Safety, and Pub­
lic" Safety Memos Hob. 9,50, 6^, 162, l6s, 1(54. See also
guides to Traffio Safety, and Highway Accidents.
40
Roads (now the Public Roads Administration.) in 1937-1958, with
the cooperation of Iowa State College, the Bureau for Street
Traffic Research (then at Harvard University, non at Yale Uni­
versity) and the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.
This study revealed a number of significant facts about the
accident repeater.
The accident records of 29,531 drivers in
Connecticut for the siao-year period 1931-1936 sere investigated,
with the drivers selected on a random basis.
The study shoved
the presence of a small group of drivers who were "definitely
accident-prone," and a much larger group who were " 4uBt as
definitely a c c i d e n t - f r e e . M o s t of the operators who had more
than one accident repeated early.
The investigators pointed out that the personal records
of drivers with respect to accidents, violations, complaints,
etc., could be of great value in detecting accident repeaters,
and were well worth the cost of obtaining them.
The study of­
fered no specifio solution of the problem of the accident-prone
^
driver, but urged (1) intensive re-education or (2) Bpeoial dis­
ciplinary control of this group.
Both are discussed in the two
sections below, "Driver Clinics" and "Traffic Violators' Schools".
'
Shortcomings of Accident Repeaters
How many accidents constitute "accident proneness" is not
well established, although in practice any driver who has been
^
1.
Motor-Vehicle Traffic Conditions in the United States, Part
6, "The Accident-Prone iriver".
S
i
41
involved in two or three aecidente in a single year is watched
by alert motor vehicle departments, such as those of Connecti­
cut and Hew York.
In those states more than three accidents in
a single year calls for a review of that driver's record.
Such
a review may show no discernible relation among the accidents
and may tend to indicate that the driver was the victim of cir­
cumstances in the repeated mishaps; but it often brings to
light one or more characteristic which predisposed or led him
into such accidents.
Experience has shown that many accident-
repeaters can be made safe drivers by having their difficulties
pointed out to them and by expert training to help them correct
or overcome the shortcomings indicated.
A study made at the New York State Bureau of Motor Vehi­
cles showed that accident repeaters as a group were poorer on
the average than volunteer drivers on such tests as braking,
reaction time, steering, speed estimation, glare vision, acceler­
ator reaction time, and kindred tests calling for simple and com­
plex maneuvers.
The repeaters as a class showed four years less
education and a lower economic status than did the volunteers.^
Thus it would seem that many accident repeaters are less fit
physically, educationally and economically than the non-repeater.
Despite the many studies of both the frequent violator and
the aceident repeater—
1.
who may or may not be the same driver—
H. R. De Silva, P. Robinson, and T. V. Forbes, “Some Psycho­
logical Factors in Acoident-Repeater Drivers." Reprinted
from The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, Volume
34, No. 1, January, 1934.
42
it is felt that considerably more research is needed before
oauses and cures of aceident-proneness are known.
At any rate,
it does not seem possible today, despite the battery of tests
developed, to detect in advance individuals who have a propen­
sity for producing collisions.
Yhile admitting that there is a group of drivers who have
more accidents than would be indicated by chance, 3. W. James,
Chief, Division of Highway Transport, Public Roads Administra­
tion, says:
For many years this accident producing class was be­
lieved to have some discoverable defects that would en­
able an examiner properly equipped with suitable testing
devices to identify the individuals of the class from the
pore favored members of our actual or potential driving
population.
Exhaustive efforts to relate the results of such
tests to such individual cases have been fruitless and
we may safely say that among candidates for drivers' li­
censes we cannot pick out those who are destined by their
inherent or temporary characteristics to become members
of the high accident group .1
James concludes that it is possible, therefore, to detect
the driver with Btrong tendency toward accident only after he
has revealed himself in practice.
"This is a most regrettable
condition," he adds, "for these individuals quite commonly prac­
tice on lives not their own."
Driver Clinics
Driver Clinics aim to re-educate acaident repeaters by point-
1.
Improving Driver Responsibility, p. 7. Paper presented at
annual meeting' of American Association of Hot or Vehicle
Administrators, Hew York, New York, August 22, 1939.
43
ing out their shortcomings and suggesting says of correcting or
overcoming them.
Such clinics have been conducted by the B u ­
reau of Motor Vehicles in Mew York City and Albany* by the Cali­
fornia Motor Vehicle Department In various cities of that state*
by the Police Department in Vichita* Kansas* and by similar
agencies elsewhere.
The clinic provides individual rather than group guidance.
Data show that bad drivers* usually ignorant of their lack of
skill, have been helped by individual testing followed by a con­
ference with a trained clinician.
ference cannot be overestimated.
The importance of this con­
It is always possible to get
a driver interested in the comparison between his test scores
and the average* but the work must not stop there.
The implica­
tions of the scores must be carefully pointed out and suggestions
made for overcoming or compensating for weaknesses.
In this
conference the able clinician can discover bad attitudes for
which we have no perfected objective test.*A limited number of police departments and courts have
undertaken clinical treatment of drivers whose reoords show per­
sistent violations or a series of accidents.
Such treatment
includes a diagnostic examination of all the pertinent facts
in the case.
All drivers who receive two warnings for traffic violation*
1.
Harry R. De Silva* in a lecture before the Seminar on Prob­
lems of teaching and research in Traffic Safety and Auto­
mobile Operation* Pennsylvania State College, August* 1939.
44
except parking, eithin any tvelve-month period are automaticalLy
called in to the traffic clinic.
In the interview the clinic
officer asks the subject a number of questions in order to stim­
ulate the driver to talk about the instances in which he was
apprehended.
Typical questions are:
1. Vere you alone in your oar at the time?
2.
Were
you in a hurry?
3.
Were
you driving the car you ordinarily drive?
4.
Were
you aware that you were committing a viola­
tion?
5.
Have
you committed the same error many times?
6 . Were you talking with your passenger casually or
about some definite matter?
7.
Were you worried about a home, family,
financial
or other problem?
Clinic cases usually fall within well-defined classifica­
tions; those who:
1. Have defective vision
Z . Have defective coordination
3.
Are unable to manipulate the controls of an auto­
mobile
4.
Have abnormally slow reaction time
5.
Are glaringly over-confident, inattentive to in­
struction and careless in carrying out any taBk
d.
Have inadequate knowledge of the motor vehicle
ordinances
45
?.
Are inattentive to the business of driving be­
cause of inner distraotion
8.
Are negligent (through ignorance) in maintaining
their vehicles in safe operating condition
9.
Take the other felloe's driving too much for
granted
10.
Pail to adjust themselves from open road speeds
and conditions to city speeds and conditions.^-
Bemarkable results in re-educating accident repeaters are
reported as the outcome of corrective work undertaken by the
Drivers* Clinic of California.
Commencing in 1936 under direc­
tion of Paul Mann, Chief of the division of drivers' licenses
of the State Department of Motor Vehicles, studies were made of
large groups of accident repeaters and of accident-free drivers.
Among both groups sere found many who had deficiencies in their
driving skills and abilities.
Yet some with similar deficien­
cies had had accidents, and others had not.
What was the ans­
wer?
It was not differences in age, intelligence, or
school training.
The outstanding fact was that these
(safe) drivers were thoroughly informed on rules of the
road and safe driving practices. Furthermore, they knew
what their shortcomings were and made allowances for them
in their driving .2
1.
See also "Driver Clinics in the Field," Journal of Applied
Psychology. February, 1938.
2.
Edwin D. Fletcher, "A Method for Creating Safer Drivers."
California Journal of Secondary Education, Volume 14,
Ho. 8 , December, 1937, pp. 476-473.
46
On the other hand, accident repeaters seldom realized their
shortcomings, and often drove in a manner that did not alios
the proper margin of safety.
A random group of 288 accident repeaters was divided into
two equal groups.
One group received examination and training
at the Drivers' Clinic*
She other group did not.
For two years
before the clinical tests, the drivers who went to the clinic
had approximately 28 per cent more accidents than the untested
group.
But for the two years following the work at the clinic,
the drivers who were helped at the clinic had approximately
85 per cent fewer accidents than the untested drivers.
She con­
clusion is reached that Bhowing drivers their deficiencies and
limitations and how they may be compensated for will produce
good results:
Shus, confirmed accident repeaters exposed to the
re-educational efforts of the Drivers' Clinic actually
reduced their accidents 94 per cent ! She reduction was
effective immediately following the tests and was main­
tained through the two-year period just completed.
Despite the recognized re-educational value of driver clin­
ics, several factors have delayed more widespread use of them:
lack of trained clinicians and adequate testing equipment, and
of funds for maintenance of the clinic.
Gradually, through the
efforts particularly of the American Association of Itotor Ve­
hicle Administrators, these difficulties are being overcome, and
the future may bring more extensive use of driver clinics.^
1.
Ibid.. p. 473
2.
See De Silva, oj>. cit.
47
Traffic Violatora 1 School
The school for traffic violators vas, at least in part, a
child of the depression*
Previous thereto, punishment meted out
for a minor traffic offense consisted of a fine.
meant serving the fine out in jail.
Failure to pay
Rarely was a motorist ar­
able to raise the fine, and if so, friends promptly produced the
necessary funds.
With the coming of the depression, the judge's
"Five dollars!" usually meant— jail!
As the depression contin­
ued there vere more and more failures to pay, more sentences
served in lieu of fines.
Traffio courts then found themselves
confronted vith a nev problem.
The triviality of the offense
did not varrant making "jailbirds" of poor but decent citizens.
There vas another reason for the violators' school.
Ex ­
perience indicated that many motorists needed instruction in
traffic regulations and in correct driving practices.
It vas
knovn that ignorance of these matters vas the cause of many vio­
lations and accidents.
The violators' school supplied a means
to inform and instruct the driver in cases vherein the court
felt that more drastic punishment vas unnecessary.
The first
offender, the inadvertent violator, and the driver ignorant of
traffic regulations vere certainly more responsive to this treat­
ment than to punishment in the form of a fine or jail sentence.
Only a limited number of cities at present operate vio­
lators' schools.
Among them are Detroit, Los Angeles, St. Louis,
Minneapolis, Berkeley, and Evanston, Illinois.
In general the schools consist of four to six sessions of
one or tvo hours at vhich a judge, prosecutor, police official,
48
and perhaps also a motor vehicle examiner discuss the serious­
ness of the traffic problem and explain the traffic laws.
The
following remarks stress the importance of the proper use of
violators' schools:
Not all violators should be sentenced to attendance
at such schools.
This is to be reserved for those who
are susceptible to the formation of proper viewpoints
concerning traffic law observance and those who do not
know the traffic laws.
Second offenders and others
should be handled in the usual manner through fines or
sentences because they must feel the "teeth of the law.*
Particular care must be taken that the opportunity to
treat cases in this way is not abused by sending repeat­
ers and persons with improper attitude to such schools as
a means of lenient treatment.
A careful check should be
kept of the subsequent records of those who attend such
a school and if it is found that the plan is not success­
ful in discouraging violations, it should be little used
or discontinued.1’
The loss of revenue resulting from waiving of the fines
of those remanded to the violators' school is probably one rea­
son for the limited use of such schools, in the opinion of Herbert
J. Stack, Director, New York University Center for Safety Educa­
tion.
It would be difficult to give statistical proof of the suc­
cess or failure of these schools in producing safe drivers.
It
is believed, however, that the training and information provided
have shown sufficiently good results.**
1.
National Safety Council, Enforcement for Traffic Safety, p.42.
2.
For organizational and instructional facts, see Guide for
Traffic Violators' Schools, prepared under direction of
Committee on Driver Training and Law Enforcement, Accident
Prevention Conference, United States Department of Com.
merce, 1937. Valuable also is Guide for Instructors of
Traffic Schools for Violators, prepared under the guidance
of the executive committee of the State Traffic Advisory
Committee of California.
This manual contains informa­
tion on the organization and operation of such schools in­
cluding forms used, class procedure, teaching techniques
and detailed material on each subject.
49
The Aged Driver
Allied to the special problem presented by the accident re­
peater or accident-prone driver is that of the elderly operator.
Although little is known about older drivers—
generally held
to be those sixty-five or over in age— there is no question of
the effect of the aging process on driving.
Owing to the slow­
er speeds they usually maintain* to their more leisurely habits
of turning corners and approaching intersections* elderly driv­
ers may not themselves get into so many mishaps; yet by hinder­
ing the steady flow of traffic* and sometimes by their very over­
cautiousness* they may cause others to have accidents.
A study by Harry R. De Silva, Director of Driver Research,
Yale University Institute of Human Relations* found the outstand­
ing characteristic of the elderly driver to be a decrease in
sensory capacity and motor coordination .1
De Silva continues*
He is* accordingly* less able to handle himself. . . .
On the other hand he has had much more experience in driv­
ing than the younger driver* and should be better aware
of his own shortcomings as well as the defects in his
car and the hazardB in the road.
Older persons* owning
more cars and heading families* possess a keener sense
of social responsibility, which is at the basis of driv­
ing courtesy and caution.
On the other hand* many of them
have never taken a license examination* nor learned to
adapt themselves to the tempo of modern driving.^
One method of dealing with the aged driver is that employed
in Massachusetts* where every licensed operator upon reaching
sixty-five must submit to road and eye tests before his license
1.
"Age and Highway Accidents.** Reprinted from The Scientific
Monthly. December 1938, Volume XLVII* pp. 536-545.
2.
Ibid., p. 10.
1
50
may be renewed.
Failure to pass these tests results in revoca­
tion of the driving privilege.
All operators must he re-examined
in Oregon when they attain seventy years of age, and in Dela­
ware when they reach seventy-five.
The driver clinic is another method of approaching elderly
operators individually and giving them objective facts about
their failing abilities, together with suggestions on how to
adapt their driving to offset them.
Some of these suggestions
are (l) not to drive during rush traffic hours; (2) to drive at
a uniformly lower speed than in former years; (3) to turn the
driving wheel over to a younger driver when approaching large
cities or congested business sections; (4) to drive for short­
er periods to avoid fatigue*1
The Young Driver
There is evidence that the youthful driver is particularly
in need of instruction not only in the skills of operation but
in the habits and attitudes which go to make a careful, respon­
sible and courteous driver.
A study by the American Automobile
Association showed that drivers sixteen years of age drove
slightly more than 2,000,000 miles per fatality, contrasted with
the reoord of nearly 22,000,000 miles per fatality among drivers
1.
For detailed information see Harvard (Jniversity) Traffic
Bureau, Driver Testing Results* (1937); •Wichita Police
Clinic", Public Safety, Aluguat 1937, pp. 8-9, 45; "Clin­
ical Treatment of ‘Traffic Violators", Polioe Journal,
December 1937, Volume XXIV, Ho. 2, pp. 5-7.
51
in the forty-five to fifty year age group*^
Young, inexperienced drivers, "who bulk largest among nee
applicants, have a particularly bad accident rate during the
first two or three years after starting to drive.
Further evidence is cited by the National Safety Council,
which declares that on the basis of special studies predicated
on mileage driven, drivers under the age of twenty "have the
highest accident rate."
Driver Education in Schools
Various reasons have been advanced for the need to give
special preparation in safe driving to high school boys and
girls.
One is that, it is estimated, 75 per cent of them will
be driving cars within a year or two after graduation.4
Another
is the character-building values said to be obtainable from such
training:
1.
2.
American Automobile Association,
Safety and Traffic Engineer­
ing Department, Fatality Hazards Much Greater for Young
Drivers Than for Drivers of Mature A g e .
"Minimum Driving License Standards and Procedures," p. 2,
quoting Harry R. De Silva, Director of Driver Research,
Yale University Institute of Human Relations.
3.
Accident Facts 1940. p. 17.
4.
Estimates made by Dr. Herbert J.
Stack, Director, Center
for Sfcfety Education, New York University; by the Safety
Education Committee of the National Education Association;
and by officials of the American Automobile Association
and the National Conservation Bureau.
52
The case for driver education and driver training
does not rest entirely upon the need for tetter driving
of motor oars. There is much concomitant learning that
takes place in such a program.
Other habits are formed
in the same manner as sound driving habits, and the know­
ledge of how they are formed may be applied to all fields
of human endeavor.
Courtesy on the highway is of the same
nature as courtesy anywhere and cultivated in one sphere
of aotivity tends to carry over into other spheres. The
same can be said for respect for law and order, good
sportsmanship, and all of the other desirable attitudes
which this course fosters.1
James makes a strong argument for the training of young
drivers, declaring that nearly one million young men and women
join the motoring ranks each year, and that training them to avoid accidents while driving "is the most powerful frontal at­
tack we can make in the safety field."
He adds, "Certainly at
this time there is no better way to raise the driving standard
of the motorised population than to embark upon a systematic
course of training in our public schools.
There is the most
obvious, the best, and immediately available place to instill
ikO
the sound principles of driver responsibility.
The preparation of young drivers in the secondary schools
is usually divided into (l) classroom activity based upon a ser­
ies of lesson units covering such topics as the Driver, Driver
and Pedestrian Responsibilities, and How to Drive; and (2) a
training program of actual road practice in an automobile.
De­
tailed information on both phases may be found in state courses
1.
Safety Education, 1940 Yearbook American Association of
School Administrators, a department of the Rational Educa­
tion Association of the United States, p. 34.
2.
k.
James, Improving Driver Responsibility, p. 7.
■
of study, publications of the American Automobile Association
and the National Conservation Bureau listed among the referenoes
at the end of this study.
Amos 3. Neyhart, administrative head,
Institute of Public Safety, Pennsylvania State College, and
road training consultant for the American Automobile Association,
has been widely credited with developing driver training pro­
cedures on a scientific basis.
The spread of driver education and road training in the
American school system may be gauged from the fact that more
than eight thousand high schools in 1939 had courses in driver
education, and approximately six hundred offered road training.1
Many states have developed courses in driver education.
2
In
fifteen states, among them New York, California, Connecticut,
Indiana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, safety education, in­
cluding traffic education, is a oompulsory subject in the pub­
lic schools.
In a single state, Illinois, 603 out of 919 public
high schools use the traffic safety text-book Man and the Motor
Car, in teaching driver education.^
f
i
53
A number of courses in traf­
fic education prepared by state, city, and county boards are
listed in Safety Education, pp. 372-373.
Among manuals that
"rank favorably with any in the county" are mentioned those of
New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.^
1.
Safety Education. Chapter VI, "Driver Education and Driver
Training in the Seoondary School."
2.
Loo, oit.
3.
Information from National Conservation Bureau.
4.
Herbert J. Stack, "Where Can Good Instructional Materials Be
Secured?*, Safety Education Digest, p. 14.
54
Personal Experiences of the Investigator in
reaching Youngsters and Adults to Drive
For any light it may throe upon the techniques of teaching
youngsters and adults* men and women* to drive an automobile*
the following observations are presented*
They are based on
personal experience in teaching one hundred and five adults and
sixteen high-school boys and girls to drive*
This work was under,
taken as a research project of the Bureau for Street Traffic Re ­
search* then at Harvard University, through the winter, spring
and summer of 1938*
1.
Learning process.
In general, men learned to drive
more quickly than women* and younger people more quiokly than
older.
2*
Motivation,
'fhe men* in most instances* had a strong
economic motive in learning to drive* as they had been promised
jobs if they could drive* or needed to use cars in their busi­
nesses.
Women took up driving (a) as a pastime* (b) to "get
even with” some relative or friend* or (c) for some indefinite
social reason.
Among adults* learning was speeded when the fee
was put on a per-lesson instead of a per-course basis.
The high-
school youngsters showed great eagerness to learn* apparently
for reasons of adventure, prestige in the group* or family appro­
bation.
3.
Skill attained.
In general* the men attained a higher
degree of skill in driving than the women.
However, some of
the younger women equaled the men in skill.
As a whole, the
older the man or woman* the lower the degree of skill attained
55
at the end of the lessons*
4*
Training method.^
At the beginning the lessons were
given in small, isolated units*
#or instance, one entire les­
son was devoted to learning to start the engine; another to drive
in first gear.
Soon this method proved cumbersome and slow.
It was discarded, and driving was taught as nearly as possible
as one comprehensive unit composed of various integrated skills.
Thus, starting the engine was only a part of the larger opera­
tion of getting the car under way.
Similarly, stopping was
taken out of the single-unit category and introduced as an in­
cidental, integral part of driving.
The chief effects of the integral versus the unit method
were (a) a greatly accelerated process of learning,
(b) a better
understanding of the various techniques involved in driving,
and (c) higher skill in actual driving through traffic.
Other changes from the text-book method were made: in the
order of teaching certain facts about the engine and other me­
chanical parts, and in the extent of such information, which was
greatly curtailed.
Abercrombie'* findings, following tests of drivers conduct­
ed in 1940 under auspices of the New York University Center for
Safety Education, agreed with the present investigator's obser-
1.
This brief discussion may be of special interest to highsohool instructors of safety education and driver training
who may not be entirely satisfied with text-books or courses
in driver training prepared on the one-steo-at-a-time plan.
56
rations in these particulars:
That more efficient results concerning the measuring
of drirer skill are secured by rating indiridual manipula­
tions within driving acts than by rating from memory the
complete driving act.
That in testing for practical skills, the subject's
attention and attitudes are highly important.
That the determination of the degree of smoothness
and evenness of operation while a person is driving is a
highly valid test of driving efficiency.
The present writer disagrees with the following conclusion
of Abercrombie:
That knowledge concerning the following phases of the
total subject of automobile driving is most valuable in
selecting or testing drivers:
a.
b.
c.
d.
Automotive mechanics
Manipulative techniques having to do with
automobile driving
Natural laws affecting driving
Sound driving practices*
Restricting Junior Drivers**
Two types of restrictions in regard to the right to oper­
ate motor vehicles are common among the states.
One type of
restriction refers to the minimum age for the issuance of an un­
restricted operator'8 license.
In twenty-five states in 1938
an unrestricted operator's license should not be issued to any
person uhder the age of sixteen; in five states the age limit
was fifteen; in four it was eighteen; in four it was fourteen;
1.
2.
: Stanley A. Abercrombie, measuring the Results of Driver
Instruction. New York University Center for Safety Educa­
tion, 1941, p. 15.
Pacts drawn from motor-Vehicle Traffic Conditions in the
United States. Part 1," '^onuniformity of State Motor-Yehicle Traffic Laws,* pp. 3, 45, 49, 50.
57
and in one state it was seventeen years.
Of the states having
no driver license Ian, two declared it unlawful for persons un­
der fourteen to operate a motor vehicle;
three fixed the
mini­
mum at fifteen, and one at sixteen.
The other type of restriction applies to the licenses of
minors not old enough to he eligible for an
unrestricted license.
In ten states such license may he issued to children over four­
teen; in two states to those over sixteen; and in one to a per­
son under fourteen after a hearing before the county judge.
Among the restrictions usually imposed are that the young driver
must not operate a vehicle (1) except to travel to and from
school, or (2) in the conduot of his parent’s business, or (3)
during daylight hours only, or (4) on rural roads only.
Often
two or more of these limitations are combined.
Negligence of Minors as Drivers
Another safeguard imposed by some states in connection with
oar operation by minors concerns negligence in case of accidental
injury to persons or damage to property.
Twenty-five states in
1938 required that the application of any person under eighteen
be signed by parents, guardian, or employer.
In one state this
was required of all applicants under seventeen, in another of
all applicants under fourteen, and in two states of applicants
under twenty-one.
In addition, six states provide that any
negligence or willful misconduot of a minor under the age of
eighteen tittle driving a motor vehicle "shall be imputed to the
person who signed the application of such minor."
Such person
is jointly and severally liable with the minor for any damages
resulting from the youngster's negligence.1
In practice these
provisions, especially the latter, aot as a strong deterrent to
parents who cannot plaee oomplete trust in the driving ability
and the attitude toward oaution of sons and daughters.
The Drinking Driver and the Drinking Pedestrian
It had been intended to treat the drinking driver and the
drinking pedestrian separately.
But as they present a similar
problem, and the methods of dealing with both groups are alike,
it appears logical, and more convenient to the reader, to discuss them together.
Alcohol and Aoeidents
How large a factor alcohol is in traffic accidents consti­
tutes one of those questions which cannot be answered with posi­
tiveness at the present time.
Statistical information is far
from being comprehensive and definite, although it is improving
in both respects.
The 1940 edition of Accident Pacts contains reports of
state summaries showing that 11 per cent of the drivers and
15 per cent of the pedestrians in fatal accidents in 1939 were
intoxicated or "had been drinking".
Special studies, on the
other hand, indicate that as high as 31 per cent of drivers in­
jured in accidents had a concentration of alcohol in the blood
or 0*15 per cent or over.
!♦
Ibid., p. 48
A speoial study in Xvanston, Illinois
59
Indicated that drivers with alcohol concentrations of 0.15 per
cent or over in their hlood are fifty-five times more likely to
be involved in injury accidents than other drivers.
There is evidence that the alcohol-aooident problem is dis­
tinctly more serious at night; studies in Illinois and in Nee
Jersey show a great preponderance of accidents involving drink­
ing drivers after dark, in comparison with drinking accidents
during the day.
In reoent years scientific procedures have been developed
to measure the degree of intoxication by determining the alcohol­
ic content of the blood stream.
The National Safety Council's
Committee on Tests for Intoxication recommended after a threeyear study that a percentage content in the blood of over 0.15
be considered definite evidence that the motorist was "under
the influence"; between 0.05 and 0.15 per oent "additional evi­
dence -should be used to determine whether the driver was influ­
enced"; below 0.05 per cent the driver should be considered not
under the influence of aloohol.
Teats for Intoxication
The Committee approved five tests for intoxication as hav­
ing been proven accurate: analysis of urine, the most widely
used; analysis of the breath; of the blood; of the saliva; and
a clinioal examination by physioians.
Although the urine test at present is the most widely used,
breath analysis by means of the Drunkometer has been gaining, es­
pecially since the passage of legislation in some states legal­
60
izing its use.
Among those states are Indiana, Texas, and Okla.
homa.1
Some of the recommendations of the Committee may he summarized as follows:
1.
Every intoxication examination should include
questions asked at the scene hy officers trained in the obser­
vance of objective symptoms of intoxication in order to rule
out false defenses.
2.
Chemical tests of body fluids or breath are recom­
mended in suspected cases.
When alcohol in the blood is 0.15
per cent or below the committee recommends prosecution only when
the circumstances and physical examination substantiate the sus­
picion of intoxication.
When the percentage is 0.05 or less the
driver generally should not be prosecuted.
A level of more than
0.15 is regarded as definite evidence that the driver is too
drunk to operate a car.
3.
Specimens for chemical tests should be taken as
soon as possible after the violation.
A seoond specimen taken
at a later time will provide convincing contrasting evidence in
court.
Specimens should be large enough to permit check tests
by the defense.
4.
community.
Testing apparatus should be available to every
Enforcement departments should work with police
surgeons, physicians, hospitals, departments of health and other
1.
Information from E. ft J. Resuscitator Company, Inc., New York,
makes o f the Drunkometer.
61
technical persons to establish cooperative arrangements for mak­
ing tests and presenting expert testimony in court*
The Commit­
tee strongly recommends that court testimony on the meaning of
the tests should be committed only to competent specialists.
5.
Each state should consider adoption of legisla­
tion dealing eith the use of chemical test evidence.
The Indi­
ana lav is suggested as a model.1
Coincident with the development of these tests has been
the recognition by juries and by the public that the tests are
just and fair.
Surveys have indicated that the public favors
conviction of drivers shosn by chemical tests to be under the
O
influence of liquor*
In accidents involving injuries, there is a definite ad­
vantage to such clinical measurement of the degree of intoxi­
cation, since the defense may claim that the condition of the
subject eas the result of shock from injury rather than of al­
coholism*
Despite certain present practical shortcomings of the
various laboratory methods, there is little doubt that such
methods sill continue to be improved and put into operation.^
In traffic fatality cases involving pedestrians, it has
been suggested that medioal examiners or coroners make post
1.
2*
3.
See National Safety Council, "Installing Tests for Intoxi­
cation," 1939 Report of Committee on Tests for Intoxica­
tion, pp. 3-6*
, P * 9*
Experiments have also been performed sith motion pictures
and sound films to produce in court evidence of the driv­
er's condition.
62
mortem tests of brain tissue or body fluids to determine if al­
cohol was present, and to what extent.1
In-Evanston,
Illinois* and other cities medical examiners
examine drunken drivers to establish the degree of intoxication*
to determine if they are suffering from illness or Injury* and
to offer their findings as testimony in court.
The advantage
of such an examination is that* in addition to observing the
physical condition of the subject* the physician is in a position
to protect the subject and the police from the very real danger
of confusing the symptoms of illness or injury with those of
intoxication.2
As a regular police procedure in every case of drunken driv­
ing* examination by a physician has a number of disadvantages:
it is expensive; it is inconvenient (much time is lost in search­
ing and sending for the doctor* meanwhile detaining the officer
from his assignment); and it permits a lapse of time in which
the subject may sober up.
Moreover* the opinion of what consti­
tutes drunkenness will vary with each physician.
A practical* if not ideal* procedure for determining intoxi­
cation calls for the arresting officer to examine the driver's
or pedestrian*8 physical condition and to note these observa­
tions on a prepared form for reference in court.
These items
should include his manner of walking* ability to stand normally*
1.
American Automobile Association* Pedestrian Protection.p. 49.
2.
This and the next two paragraphs are based on information
supplied by O. W. Wilson* formerly Qhief of Police* Wichi­
ta* Kansas* now Professor of Police Administration* Uni­
versity of California.
1
63
speech, the odor of his breath, any tremor of his hands, the
condition of his hair, eyes and attire, the color of his face,
any marks or injuries, any unusual acts, ability to answer
questions, and general coordination.
A number of states have made efforts to render less diffi­
cult the problem of determining when a driver should be con­
sidered "under the influence".
Kansas has provided that the
taking or use of any intoxicating liquor or drug, within a rea­
sonable time prior to operation of a motor vehicle, shall be
prima facie evidence of being in an intoxicating condition.
Oklahoma and South Dakota have gone further, providing that
"the having of any intoxicating liquor on or about one's person
or in the motor vehicle being operated" shall violate the stat­
ute.'1'
(The Oklahoma law vas declared unconstitutional).
Arresting Drunken Pedestrians
In both Cleveland and Detroit the police have taken strenuour measures to prevent intoxicated pedestrians from getting in
the way of vehicular traffic.
Cleveland's police officers have
orders to bring to the police station all pedestrians found
wandering in the streets in an intoxicated condition.
This
activity is credited with having helped in reducing pedestrian
deaths in Cleveland from 193 in 1937 to 96 in 1938.**
In Detroit,
precinct inspectors are instructed to assign officers to patrol
1.
Motor-Vehicle Traffic Conditions in the United States, P a r t 4,
pp. 77-78.
2.
American Automobile Association, Pedestrian Protection, p. 49.
64
the area near taverns and to arrest pedestrians who go out upon
the sidewalk or the street in a drunken condition.1
The suggestion has been made that the criminal law forbid­
ding drunkenness in public places be extended to make such an
offense by a pedestrian a violation of the traffic law, as it
is for drivers.
*This could be done by making it unlawful for
a person under the influence of intoxicating liquor to appear
in any way or place open to vehicles as a matter of right.
Education Against Drunken Driving and Walking
_ A number of techniques for control through education of the
drinking driver and the drinking pedestrian may be discussed,
although recognizing that it is not possible to differentiate
too sharply between purely educational or purely enforcement
methods in this field,
For example, penalties imposed by the
courts for drunken driving, or revocation of the driving license
by the motor vehicle commissioner may be classified as enforce­
ment, yet they also have an educational or deterrent value.
Among methods in actual use to educate or caution drinking driv­
ers and pedestrians may be cited the following:
1.
Teaching in high schools and continuation schools the
facts concerning the effects of alcohol on muscular
coordination, vision, endurance, etc.
1.
Loc. cit.
2.
Ibid.. p. 50.
65
2.
Newspaper and magazine publicity devoted to dramatiz­
ing the influence of alcohol on driving and walking.
(The Department of Motor Vehicles of Connecticut, for
example, sends to newspapers and other periodicals
throughout the state prepared statements stressing the
hazards of drinking in relation to traffic.)
3.
Radio spot announcements giving statistics of intoxioated drivers and pedestrians killed or Injured in traf­
fic, and urging drivers not to (l) drive while under
the influence of liquor or (2) ride with a driver who
appears to be intoxicated.
(The Bureau of Motor Ve ­
hicles of New York State has sent out such announcements
to radio stations in every section of the state; some
of these radio spot announcements were prepared by the
present writer).
4.
Notices posted in taverns and beer halls.
(The Motor
Vehicle Registrar of Massachusetts has obtained the co­
operation of many liquor and beer establishments to
place signs reading: "If You Drink Don't Drive.
Drive Don't Drink".
If You
The signs are supplied to the
Registry by liquor wholesalers).
5.
Notices in pay envelopes of city employes.
(This was
used in Hartford and other Connecticut cities during
1940 under direction of the State Highway Safety Commission)•
Police Techniques
Among techniques used by state highway patrol officers, city
66
polioe officers, and in some oases special officers assigned by
the motor vehicle administrator in efforts to keep intoxicated
drivers or pedestrians from accidents are the following:
1.
"Whoopee Squads".
These, used in Evanston, Illinois,
Cleveland, Ohio, Worcester, Massachusetts, and other
cities, are roving patrols, usually sent out each week­
end (when fatalities from alcohol-traffic accidents
are generally highest) to keep an eye on barrooms,
taverns, night-clubs, etc.
Special attention is
given to places about which complaints have been made
to the police.
Drivers or pedestrians who oome out in
an intoxicated condition are turned over to the police
or state patrol officer to take home.
If the intoxi­
cated person lives far away, he is taken in the patrol
car; if nearby, one or two officers may escort him home,
a.
A sidelight of this activity may be outlined here
to show the type of practical problem often en­
countered in efforts to control drivers and pedes­
trians under the influence of alcohol.
In Massa­
chusetts, an official of the Registry of Motor Ve­
hicles told this writer, some tavern owners would
drive a drunken customer past the officers posted
near the entrance, then let the drunk drive home
while the tavern-keeper went back in his car or
in a cab.
The Registry men retaliated by having
officers posted one mile away on each side of the
tavern and stopping every motorist coming into the
67
section to caution him about undue drinking if he
was headed for the tavern.
This resulted in driv­
ing business away from such taverns, whereupon the
owners would then cooperate with the Registry of
Motor Vehicles in keeping the tipsy from becoming
a menace to themselves or to others.
2.
Holiday patrol.
In an effort to reduce deaths through
drunken driving over Hew Year's, Eliot, Hess, Cleve­
land's Director of Public Safety, evolved this plan:
Commandeering all city police cars, the police patrolled
the streets during New Year's Eve and morning.
Whenever
they saw a car weaving or careening down the street,
they stopped it and suggested to the driver that he
take a cab home.
If he refused, they let him sober
up in jail.*
Legal Penalties
Having the effect of an additional deterrent, in recent
years state legislatures have stiffened the penalties for driv­
ing while intoxicated, and the courts have contributed by strictter application of the law.
On the basis of the author’s experi­
ence in the field of traffic safety it may be said that today a
charge of driving under the influence of liquor or while intoxi-
1.
To work of the holiday patrol and the "whoopee squads” is
credited a substantial part of Cleveland's 50 per cent
reduction in automobile fatalities, which won for that
citjr “in "1940 the National Traffic Safety Award of the
National Safety Council for oities of 500,000 population
or over.
68
cated is exceedingly difficult to fix or evade.
In every state
today driving under such conditions is a criminal offense.1
A comparison of the penalties imposed for drunken driving
offenses in eleven Eastern States s h o w that the minimum fine for
the first offense is $100 in four states, is less in five, and
greater in two.
The maximum fine is fixed at $100 in Nee York,
$20Q in Pennsy 1vania, $500 in Connecticut, Delaware, Nee Hamp­
shire, Nee Jersey, Bhode Island and Vermont, and $1,000 in Maine,
Maryland and Massachusetts.
Jail sentences which may be imposed range from fourteen to
thirty days minimum and from thirty days to three years maximum.
In seven states, imprisonment is mandatory for a second offense
of drunken driving.^
Suspension or revocation of the right to operate a motor
vehicle are additional penalties provided in forty states.
In
addition, seven states impound the vehicle operated by the drunk­
en driver if it is registered in his name.
If death or serious
bodily injury results, much heavier penalties are imposed in
eleven states, ranging, in addition to heavy fines, from thirty
days to twenty years imprisonment.*'
Engineering and the Drunken Driver
One of the aims of the highway engineer is to design road­
ways in such manner as to minimize the effect of erroneous de-
1.
See Motor-Vehiole Traffic Conditions in the United States,
pp. 77-78.
2.
See Connecticut Highway Safety Commission, Report to the
Governor, December 29, 1938, pp. 25-26.
3.
Motor-Vehicle Traffic Conditions in the United States, p. 7.
T
i
69
oi8ions or maneuvers "by motorists.
For that purpose he supplies
curbings along the road sides, physical harriers in the middle,
and guard-rails at curves, enbankments, and other points.
These
safeguards serve to reduce injury to any motorist who makes a
wrong move on the highway, whether his action he caused hy lack
of skill, fatigue, or intoxication.
Nevertheless, as a witness
of a drunken-driving tragedy on New York's West Side Elevated
Highway remarked to this writer,
"The heat super-highway built
can't stop a drunk from killing himself if he hits a wall at
70 miles an hour."
The elements of roadway design making for
protection of all users, drunken drivers included, are discussed
in Chapter VI.
The Pedestrian
The Pedestrian Problem
The pedestrian, formerly considered the forgotten man in
the traffic picture, has in recent years taken the center of
the stage.
Studies have uncovered many facts about him, and
several methods of control from the engineering, education and
enforcement viewpoints have been developed to a fair degree of
success.
The accident facts collected about the pedestrian, although
by no means complete, leave no room for doubt that the problem
is a widespread and difficult one.
Natalities and Injuries
Pedestrian fatalities are the most important single type
70
of fatal traffic accident.
In cities of over 10,000 population
approximately two-thirds of all traffic fatalities ocour to
pedestrians, a proportion that has held roughly true from
1930 to 1939.
Severity ^
Pedestrian accidents are more serious on the average, the
ratio of injuries to fatalities being twenty-one to one, against
seventy-five to one for collisions between motor vehicle.
Urban-rural
Prom 1930 to 1939 pedestrian deaths in urban areas declined
by 28 per cent, while in rural areas they increased by 41 per
cent.
For the same period, non-pedestrian deaths in urban areas
decreased by 30 per cent, while in rural areas they increased
by 11 per cent.
Children and Aged
The proportion of pedestrian fatalities is much higher
among children 0 to 14 years of age and persons 65 years and
over than for the age groups 15-24 and 25-64.
Darkness
The-majority of pedestrians killed in traffic meet death
after dark.
Actions
In 1939 more than two-thirds of the pedestrians killed were
violating the traffic rules or engaged in some obviously unsafe
act— crossing against the signal, crossing diagonally, or not
71
at the intersection, and in rural areas walking with instead of
facing traffic.1
Table II, based on reports of state and city traffic author­
ities as given in Accident Pacts 1940, p. 92, indicates the ac­
tivity of pedestrians when struok by motor vehicles.
Only the
actions resulting in death are considered in this tabulation.
TABLE II
Pedestrian Actions,
1939 Motor Vehicle Traffic Accidents
Actions
fotal
37 state8
Killed
Urban
115 cities
Rural
10 states
Total Pedestrians............
100#
Crossing at intersection....
Vith signal............. .
Against signal.............
Mo signal............ ......
Diagonally.................
29
1
6
15
2
45
4
10
28
3
7
*
1
4
2
Crossing not at intersection.
20
31
27
16
22
4
12
1
10
3
• •
0
36
2
23
1
5
• a
9
Standing in safety zone.....
1
1
1
Getting on or off street car.
*
1
*
Getting on or off other
vehicle.
1
1
2
Coming from behind parked
cars..
Walking in roadway..... .....
With traffic— sidewalks....
With traffic— no sidewalks.
Against traffic— sidewalks.
Against traffic--no side­
walks •.
1.
Above facts from Accident Pacts 1940.
100#:
e •
• a
100#
72
TABLE! II (Continued)
Working in roadway..........
2
3
Playing in roadway.........
3
8
Hitching on vehicle.........
1
1
Lying in roadway...... .
*•
5
Not in roadway.... ........ .
2
1
If the number of deaths indicated by the urban and rural
percentages do not add to a total equivalent to the total
percentage shown, it is because either the urban or rural
data are not exactly representative.
*Les8 than half of one per cent.
Certain types of pedestrians may be recognized almost as
readily as types of drivers.
Pedestrian classifications serve
not so much to indicate sharply differentiated groups but to
identify the groups for aid in directing accident-prevention
efforts along eduoationalf enforcement or engineering lines.
The following types or groups are in addition to the drinking
pedestrian considered earlier in this study.
A ged. Ignorant, Physically Handicapped Pedestrian
As has been indicated, pedestrian deaths are most frequent
among children and the aged.
One of every twenty pedestrians
who met death in traffic accidents in 1939 was reported to have
been physically defective.1
1.
A central fact emerging from studies
Accident Pacts 1940. p. 36.
75
in Connecticut, South Carolina and the District of Columbia is
that a great number of pedestrians hilled had never been licensed
to drive, and presumably lacked elementary knowledge of traffic
movements, rules, and regulations.1
Persons who have never
driven are apt to fail to take into consideration the difficulty
of drivers in seeing pedestrians at night, especially in rain
or fog, and in stopping a car on slippery surfaces.
Many pedes­
trians who formed their walking habits in years when automobiles
were fewer and slower are poor in judging the speed of approach­
ing cars.
This unfamiliarity with problems of automobile opera­
tion, coupled with failing vision, hearing, and other physical
abilities, makes the elderly pedestrian especially susceptible
C
to traffic accidents.
Discussing age as a major factor in pedestrian mishaps,
the authors of Pedestrian Protection comment:
Most pedestrians killed in urban automobile accidents
are aged fifty or over. Since this group is only half as
numerous in the population as the group between fifteen
and forty-four, it is clear that the relative hazard of
death by motor traffic is several times greater for pedes­
trians older than forty-five or fifty.
Why this group accounts for such a large share of the
pedestrian fatality toll may be partly explainable by cer­
tain physical conditions common at these ages. Many per­
sons past fifty have poorer sight and hearing.
On the
average, they are less agile and less alert to meet the
critical situations of modern traffic. Momentary lapses
of attention and of awareness of existing hazards are also
important factors.3
1.
American Automobile Association, Pedestrian Protection, p. 5.
2.
See "The Reckless Walker,* Readers Digest, July, 1939.
3.
Oj>. cit,., p . 5.
74
In the discussion of preventive methods to folios sill be
found a number of suggestions for educating elderly pedestrians
to recognize the failings of their age and to act accordingly
shen walking in traffic.
The Immature Pedestrian
Of the 12,300 pedestrians killed in traffic in 1939, 750
sere children under four years of age and 1,450 between five
and fourteen years of age.*"
Examination of detailed reports in­
dicates that in the majority of cases the children had wandered
into the street or sere playing in the street shen the accident
occurred.
With reference to the youngest children, perhaps no
direct method of prevention is possible; rather, responsibility
must be accepted by parents or some other person in charge of the
toddler at the time.
We cannot expect the child (of pre-school
age) to have the knowledge or judgment to avoid such hazards.**
This protection involves the education of adults.
Among children of school age the record is most encourag­
ing, the trend having been consistently downward for the past
fifteen years.
Since 1922 the death rate in this age group has
dropped 31 per cent.3
Credit is due largely, it is agreed among
safety specialists, to systematic safety training in schools.
In fact, there is good evidence for believing that school chil­
dren may do much to improve the adult pedestrian record.
1.
Accident Pacts. 1940, p* 86.
2.
Pedestrian Protection,
p. 10.
3.
Accident Pacts, 1940.-p.
52.
In
75
Hartford, Connecticut, and Kansas City, Missouri, to cite but
two examples, school teachers urge by word of mouth and on writ. ten cards that pupils pass safety lessons learned in school on
to their parents and encourage them to exercise caution in walk­
ing.
Other suggestions for preventing accidents among young or
immature pedestrians will be found in the discussion of remedial
techniques below.
The Indifferent Pedestrian
This loosely designated group may be said to include the
inattentive or careless walkers who step off the curb and take
several steps across the street before realizing that there are
other--and mechanized—
users of the roadway.
This group con­
tribute heavily to pedestrian mortality tables.
NIt is apparent
that the extreme lack of caution with which many pedestrians use
the streets and highways was a major contributing factor" in
deaths among walkers, says Accident Facts 1940.1
Education can probably do little to prevent accidents in
this group.
The best hope appears to lie in enforcement prac­
tices such as installation of police at busy intersections, and
provision of engineering safeguards such as sidewalk barriers,
pedestrian overpasses, etc.
These and other measures are pre­
sented below.
Regulating the Pedestrian
The legal rights and duties of pedestrians with relation
1. p. 36
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
,
LIBRARY
•
76
to drivers have become widely accepted and form the basis for
the control and regulation of walkers on streets and highways.
Artiole X of the Uniform Vehicle Code lays down the important
principles summarized below:
1.
Pedestrians shall be subject to traffic control signals
at intersections.
2.
In the absence of traffic control signals, drivers
shall by slowing or stopping yield the right-of-way
to pedestrians crossing the roadway within a cross­
w alk.
However this does not give pedestrians license
to dart from the curb into the path of vehicles.
3.
A pedestrian crossing at any point other than an inter­
section or marked crosswalk shall on the other hand
yield the right-of-way to vehicles in the roadway.
4.
Between adjacent signallized intersections, pedestrians
shall cross only in a marked crosswalk.
5.
No driver shall pass another vehicle which has stopped
to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway.
6.
Drivers shall warn pedestrians by sounding the horn
and shall exercise due care to avoid striking the
pedestrian.
Another widely accepted principle is that motorists making
turns should yield the way to pedestrians crossing on the proper
signal.
Numerous cities and towns have adopted regulations requir­
ing pedestrians to follow Stop and Go signals, and, particularly
in the Middle West and West, an increasing degree of observance
77
of traffic signals by pedestrians is reported.
In its recommendations the National Safety Council's Com­
mittee On Pedestrian Control and Protection^ lays down the prin­
ciples that (l) pedestrian movement can and should be controlled
in business districts, and that (2) pedestrians, no less than
motorists, should be required to obey traffic signals.
The
committee expressed the opinion that where a pedestrian-controlled program has been gradually introduced, it has been aceptable to walkers and has been successful in reducing pedestrian
casualties.
The committee found that the extent of observance of pedes­
trian regulations had a positive relation to pedestrian safety.
It was of the opinion that before adopting enforcement of pedes­
trian regulations, officials must make certain that, among other
things, adequate physical safeguards be provided for the safety
of foot travelers.
It is of equal importance that motorists be
taught— or forced through police vigilance— to yield the rightof-way to pedestrians under certain conditions, and that left
and right turns of vehicles be prohibited at specified times
and places.
The committee also recommended that pedestrians walk on
the left side of highways where sidewalks are not provided, and
that intoxioated pedestrians be removed from traffic ways.
As part of its enforcement program for pedestrian protec­
tion, Cleveland has police officers hand out a warning card to
1.
See its 1939 Report,
"Pedestrian Control and Protection."
78
walkers observed, crossing against the red signal.
The card reads
as follows:
CLEVELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT
WARNING
!
YOU have just crossed the street against a B E D LIGHT
This is a very dangerous practice*
that has resulted in 33 DEATHS and
324 INJURIES during the year 1937.
STOP SAVING SECONDS AND LOSING LIVES
Obey Traffic
and Safety Rules
Cooperate in Police
Safety Campaign
It is Better to
Be Safe Than Sorry
Use Care* Courtesy and Common Sense on Street
Thank You.
Cleveland Values Your Life - Protect it - Walk Sensibly
Enforcement of the "walk-left" law applying on rural high­
ways in twelve states is becoming stricter in some sections*
after several years in which police activity is confined to
warnings.
Arrests for this offense have been made in New York*
Connecticut and South Carolina.
Another enforcement aid for pedestrians is the provision of
adequate police protection in shopping centers and near schools
at rush-hour periods* with the objects of (l) controlling motor
traffic* and (2) guiding or controlling pedestrians.
79
The use of play streets during certain hours of the day,
when they become
closed to general vehicular traffic,
is another
technique of the
police in most cities, including New
York.
This plan is more effective in keeping cars from entering the
street when it is barricaded than when merely posted with signs.1
It should be noted that this becomes an educational technique
when children in school or through parents are urged to use
play streets and
keep out of other
streets.
Engineering Aids for Pedestrians
Because pedestrians are more difficult to control than are
motorists, safety and traffic authorities have given much atten­
tion to developing what may be inclusively termed physical aids
or safeguards for foot travelers.
Among these are listed the
following, the order of listing having no significance:
1.
Separate paths for pedestrians, especially along rural
highways carrying a fairly large volume of motor ve­
hicle traffic.
(Massachusetts, with more than 600
miles of rural sidewalks, is a leader in this respect).
2.
Bridges or tunnels to keep the path for pedestrians
separate from that of vehicles.
(Numerous examples of
the elevated walkways are in evidence in many cities
and states: those built to carry World's Pair throngs
over the Triborough Bridge highway approaches and the
1.
According to officials of the New York City Police Academy,
in a personal interview.
80
Horace Harding Boulevard are among the most advanced
designs) •
3.
Pedestrian tunnels are used particularly at school
crossings* to provide a safe passageway for employes
of large plants along "busy highways, or near outdoor
aports arenas.
(Los Angeles is cited as an example of
a city which has constructed numerous pedestrian tun­
nels near schools.1)
4.
Pedestrian fences or chain barriers to keep walkers from
impinging upon the paths of motorists.
(An example of
such fences is found in times Square, New York City;
examples of chain and tubular barriers are found in
Dallas, Texas, Rochester, New York, and Milwaukee,
Wisconsin)»
5.
Pedestrian safety islands and pedestrian loading zones.
(Boston, Massachusetts, was one of the earliest to in­
stall such islands.
one or more examples.
Today virtually every city has
Especially well designed ones
are found in Detroit, Kansas City, Missouri, St. Louis,
Chicago and Milwaukee).
Sound practice points to the
utilization of fences for the entire length of loading
and unloading pedestrian islands, to force the pedes­
trian to enter and leave the island at the crosswalk
1.
Pedestrian Protection, p. 23
f
81
or the corner.
This has been done satisfactorily in
numerous cities.1
6.
Marked crosswalks, indicating (l) where pedestrians
should cross, and (2) where motorists should stop in
order to leave a sufficient way clear for walkers.
(Hartford, and Hew Haven, Connecticut; Cleveland, Ohio,
and Chicago, Illinois, all make excellent use of cross­
walks, maintaining them clearly painted--an important
point if the crosswalks are to be consistently used.^)
7.
Pedestrian traffic signals.
Details of the proper in­
stallation, timing and maintenance of these pedestrian
aids are contained in Manual on Uniform Traffic Control
Devices issued by the National Conference on Street
and Highway Safety, Washington, D. C.
Proper signal
timing is essential if walkers are to be encouraged to
wait for the light to turn in their favor*
"The shorter the cycle that will handle
the traffic, the better the observance."
This
is a saying among traffic engineers which ap­
plies both to pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
A common fault is an overlong cycle. When traf­
fic is held up on one street after the other
street has been cleared, or when only stragglers
are coming, time is being wasted.
Under such
conditions pedestrians are much less likely to
wait for the signal change than are drivers.9
Uniform Vehicle Code standards provide also for a Wait
1.
Pedestrian Protection, pp. 30-33.
2.
Dr. Miller McClintock, director, Bureau for Street Traffic
Research, Yale University, in talk with the writer.
3.
Pedestrian Protection, p. 23
82
signal for pedestrians, to help them avoid being ma­
rooned in mid-street.
Pedestrian push-button signals,
placed at hazardous intersections, protect shhool chil­
dren and other pedestrians in Newton, Massachusetts,
and other cities.
8.
Adequate street lighting.
On many urban streets and
rural highways it has been shown that adequate light­
ing can reduce fatalities and injuries to pedestrians.
The Illuminating Engineering Society has established
minimum standards for street lighting, and has collect­
ed much data showing that traffic accidents of all kinds
diminish or disappear under superlighted conditions.
A survey of sixty cities made by the predecessor of
the National Conservation Bureau demonstrated that the
ratio of night to day traffic mishaps can be greatly
reduced by increasing street lighting.3,
9.
Adequate automobile headlamps.
It is a well-known fact
that motor vehicle headlamps often lose as much as 50
per cent of their original efficiency after one or two
years of driving owing to corroded, rusty, dirty reflect­
ors, weak bulbs, cracked or smudged lenses, etc.
In
New Jersey, nearly 50 per cent of all vehicles inspected
in 1938 were rejected because of headlight deficiency.
Motor vehicle officials in that state attributed a
large part of the 38 per cent reduction in highway
1.
See the Bureau’s Highway Lighting and Public Safety.
83
fatalities in 1938- to better headlight maintenance fol­
lowing mandatory inspection of motor vehicles.1
This
type of pedestrian aid may also he considered an en­
forcement technique {then inspection is compulsory) or
an educational teohnique in states like New York, in
which vehicle inspections are not officially conducted.
10.
Proper highway and street design.
Many of the newer
types of highways and city arteries (such as Pulaski
Highway in New Jersey, West Side Elevated Highway,
Holland and Queens-Midtown Tunnels, George Washington
and Triborough Bridges in New York City, and Merritt
Parkway in Connecticut) are so constructed as to (l)
afford no opportunity for the use of the facility by
pedestrians,
or (2) to separate the paths for both
types of travel so as to make impossible any imping­
ing of one upon the other.
One of the most modern
types of highways, built to exclude pedestrians,
termed a limited way.
VI,
is
It will be described in Chapter
under the heading Design.2
Education for Pedestrian Protection
That education can do much to reduce the number of accidents
among pedestrians is demonstrated by the record, already alluded
1.
Pedestrian Protection, p. 8.
2.
That section will also include discussion of other factors
of street and highway design (such as channelization) which
though not built primarily to aid the pedestrian neverthe­
less tend to prevent his being struck by automobiles.
84
to, of children of school age.
Education for safe walking, when
directed at adults, should aim at helping the pedestrian to under­
stand the facts about himself and to adjust himself to modern
traffic needs.
Among educational activities recommended3, are
the following:
Pre-School Age Group
1.
Set up a play yard program to teach youngsters
safe ways of walking— i. e., to watch the traf­
fic lights, wait at curb, and so forth.
Grade-8ohool Age Group
1.
Poster the installation and effective operation
of school safety patrols.
2.
Assist in promoting adult pedestrian program by
encouraging children to write to their elder re­
latives about pedestrian hazards, to discuss pedes­
trian problems with adults, to have adults sign
pledges to observe sound pedestrian habits.
3.
Have pupils study and report upon safe routes to
school from their homes.
1.
The recommendations come mainly from two sources:
(a) Com­
mission on Safety Education of the American Association of
School Administrators, including in its membership super­
intendents of schools in Kentucky, Nebraska, New York City,
Alabama, Mississippi, Cleveland, Rochester, New York, and
given in Safety Education, Eighteenth Yearbook (1940),
American Association of School Administrators, Washington,
D. C.j and (b) contributors to Pedestrian Protection, among whom are listed traffic engineers of Pallas, Texas,
Seattle, Washington, Boston, Massachusetts, Providence,
Rhode Island, etc., and police chiefs of Dallas, Texas,
Cleveland, Ohio, etc.
85
4.
Have pupils make studies of traffic conditions
near school or home and discuss with safety
teacher whether police protection, pedestrian sign
als, bridges, tunnels, etc., are needed.
High School
1.
Age group1
Secure a competent teacher of safety and if pos­
sible provide a program for education in traffic,
safety and driving, which includes training in
pedestrian protection.
2.
Encourage the writing of letters to newspapers
reporting possible hazards to pedestrians and
suggesting, after personal interviews with police
or city traffic engineer, methods for eliminating
such hazards.
Adult Age Group2
1.
Educate to obtain acceptance of the philosophy of
cooperative street use by pedestrians and motor­
ists.
Indicate that pedestrians can avoid acci­
dents by observing traffic signals and other XBgulations which drivers are made to observe.
Inu
press upon the public that voluntary observance
will reduce the need for enforcement and penalties
1.
Some of the projects for the adult age group are also ap­
plicable to the hightschool; age group.
2.
Based on Pedestrian Protection, pp. 74-77
86
2.
Call upon newspaper editors and suggest special
news and features based upon the needs and prob­
lems of pedestrians.
3.
Organize, with the aid of local safety councils
and insurance agents, programs for safety posters
and window-cards emphasising pedestrian protection.
4.
Prepare and distribute rules for sound pedestrian
practices, in foreign language where necessary.
These may be distributed by stores, motion-picture
theatres, etc., or put in pay envelopes.
5.
Call upon radio stations and offer assistance in
producing or promoting broadcasts on pedestrian
problems and needs.
6.
At meetings of women's and service clubs, conduct
exhibits or demonstrations <f outstanding pedes­
trian hazards,
such as near-invisibility of walkers
in dark clothing, time of crossing certain inter­
sections in contrast with average automobile speeds,
difficulty of motorists in stopping on slippery
surface, etc.
7.
Organize special pedestrian education programs to
reach certain areas where pedestrian accidents are
frequent.
8.
Poster or conduct debates, panel discussions, open
forums, etc., for community consideration of pedes­
trian protection plans.
87
9.
Poster polls of local public opinion on pedestrian
difficulties and suggested remedies.^
The Bicyclist
The biaycle began to assume the proportions of a traffic
menace in 1932, when 350 riders met death in collisions with
motor vehicles.
Between 1932 and 1939 the number of traffic
deaths involving bicyclists doubled;
in the same period bicycles
in use approximately tripled and motor vehicle mileage increased
2
by 48 per cent.
Both the Uniform Vehicle Code (Article XI, Act V) and the
Model Traffic Ordinances (Article VIII, Part I) establish the
principle that bicyole riders should observe the traffic rules
and regulations and that bicycles should be equipped with warn­
ing signals as well as with lamps and reflectors to make the
bicycle visible at night.
The Model Traffic Ordinances, in ad­
dition, require the licensing of bicycles following inspection
to determine if they are in safe meohanical condition.
The National Safety Council's Committee on Bicyole Prob­
lems recommended in its 1939 report^ a remedial program for re­
ducing bicycle accidents through accident analysis, education,
1.
Por interesting sidelights and practical suggestions for
effectuating pedestrian protection programs the reader is
referred to various papers in the 1939 Proceedings of the
Institute of Traffic Engineers.
Other references are given
in the Bibliography.
2.
Accident Pacts 1940, p. 51.
3.
Prevention of Bicycle Accidents.
88
safety legislation, and enforcement.
It recommended the regis­
tration and inspection of bioyclea, summons and penalties for
violations, bicycle courts and bicycle instruction classes, and
the construction of bicycle paths along sections of highways
where warranted by the volume of bicycle traffic or the bicycle
accident experience.
Through the formation of safe bicycle riding clubs, demon­
strations of correct bicycling practices, issuance of warnings
to careless riders, posters, and bicycle registration, schools
in many parts of the country (including Chicago and White Plains,
Hew York) promote greater care among bicycle riders.
In Grants
Pass, Oregon, an ordinance requires the licensing of all bicycles
by the police, the license being issued only after a practical
test to those who have passed the school's examination on laws
pertaining to bicycle equipment and operation.
Violations are
checked by the police, and the bicycles of persistent violators
are impounded for a week.
As a result, bicycle riding has in­
creased and bicycle accidents have been reduced, it is reported.1
No state has enacted bicycle licensing legislation.
Licens­
ing under local ordinance is held preferable to state registra­
tion, as the latter system would require little or nothing more
from the bicycle owner than paying a small fee.
When bicycle
licensing is done locally, however, the local schools and police
department are united in the bicycle Bafety program.
ThiB brings
Nations3rEdfowrtlon Association, Safety Education. Eighteenth
Yearbook (1940), p. 50.
89
the two forces of education and enforcement to hear upon reck­
less drivers.
Bicycle safety tests have been prepared by the
National Safety Council and by the Nee York University Center
for Safety Education.^
It is suggested that,a program of education in bicycle
riding should include the following:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Instruction in traffic regulations
Instruction in maintenance of properly equipped
bicyole
Development of skill in handling the bicycle
Discussion of the common hazards confronting
bicycle riders in the community
Conduct of bicycle tests
Organization of bicycle clubs
Provision of parking facilities for bicycles3
The engineering approach to the problem of safe bicycling
is the provision of bicycle paths or the shutting off of streets
and other areas where riders may enjoy this sport without inter­
fering with motor vehicle traffic or being endangered by it.
New York City, for example, has built more than 60 miles of
bicycle pathB in Central Park, along the Brooklyn shore, and
4
in Queens.
1.
Information from Dr. Herbert J. Stack, Director, New York
University Center for Safety Education.
2.
Eor the latter see Alfred L. Lorenz, National Bicyole Tests.
3.
Howard G. Danford, "What Are the Essential Elements in a
Program of Bicycle Safety?", Safety Education Digest,
p . 17.
4.
Ibid., p. 20. See also New York Times, Maroh 23, 1941,
Section 10, p. 1.
90
The Community
Increasingly it is realized that to direct traffic safety
efforts at individuals or specific groups of drivers, pedestrians,
or bicyclists is not enough.
There is need, too, for safety
education of the community as a whole, aimed at building public
understanding and a cooperative attitude toward accident prevention.
Harry Woodburn Chase, Chancellor of New York University,
emphasizes this points
One fundamental about Safety which is now being more
fully recognized is that results can be obtained^only
through community organization and cooperation. While
it is true that the accident situation is a national prob­
lem— and one of our important national problems— we must
not lose sight of the fact that it is also a community
problem. . • .
We need the united efforts of all the community
forces to bring about safety in a community.
A traffic
engineeting program will fall short of achieving permanent
improvement unless it is backed up by fair but adequate
enforcement.
Again, the efforts of enforcement officers
will be largely wasted if education does not provide good
obedience to stop signs, signals and traffic regulations,
for obviously we cannot have an officer to guard each
motorist and every pedestrian in the city. We must make
each person his own enforcement officer, based on the
safe habits and safe attitudes developed through education.
There is evidence for the belief that the success of some
traffic safety campaigns is due in no small part to a readiness
on the part of motorists and pedestrians to lend individual sup­
port to accident prevention, that is, to be more careful and
1.
"The Place of the School in the Community Safety Program."
Abstract of the Proceedings, Conference on Problems in
School SaFety Administration, January 19, 1940, p. 18.
New York University Center for Safety Education.
91
considerate, quite aside from legal compulsion.
Ralph W. Eaton,
traffio engineer of Providence, Rhode Island, has stressed this
phase.1
Discussing the factors which enabled Providence during
1937 to establish a motor-vehicle fatality rate of sixteen (the
lowest established by any city of 250,000 or more population in
any year since traffic deaths became a serious problem in the
1920*s), Eaton remarks:
My belief is that the largest factor in producing the
reduction in accidents was the WILL OF THE PEOPLE.
I can't
prove this by any means known to me, and all that I can do
is to try to make you feel the psychological state which
I believe existed.
From the beginning I asked many people
"What is doing this? Is it the fear of arrest or loss of
license?" The answer was generally "No - the people are
behind this campaign and believe it is worthwhile." This
answer was made to me also by the Deputy-Superintendent of
Police who was in charge of the campaign.
Assuming that there "really was an unusual state of mind"
in Providence, and "that it was the real underlying cause of the
results," he concludes that the public "recognized and desired
to strongly support a new attitude" on the part of the police
and other public authorities, and that "our people were ready
2
and receptive to some sort of special effort late in 1937."
The Teacher and Community Safety
The responsibilities of educators for advancing safety
through educational techniques are outlined by Stack as follows:
1.
2»
See How Providence Did It. Lecture before the Yale Univer­
sity Bureau for Street Traffic Research, April 24, 1939.
13 pp. (mimeo.)
PP» 9-10
92
Leaderahip: Assume a position of leadership in our
communities for the active promotion of safety programs;
strive for a better recognition of safety in our state by
helping to prepare courses of study, writing magazine arti­
cles, and speaking.
Teacher Preparation: Teach a safety course, particu­
larly in the summer or regular sessions of one of the
numerous colleges in the country which as yet do not of­
fer courses in safety education; organize meetings or con­
ferences for the education of in-service teachers— one of
the best ways of securing better recognition of the work.
Classroom materials and other publications: Develop
text-books or readers for school use; prepare such mater­
ials as tests and articles for State and national publica­
tions and radio programs for broadcast over local stations.
Research: Push ahead with research problems on which
those of us who are working for master's or doctor's degrees
may be engaged; conduct special research studies and inform
fellow members of the results.^
Community Safety Agencies and Programs
The building of public support for traffic safety programs
among all classes and ages is the goal of safety councils and
safety committees.
For instance, one of the purposes of the Iowa State Safety
Council is that "of awakening in every community and in every
individual citizen a sense of responsibility as to Iowa's safety
problems."^
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, discovering that there were
too many groups in the city attempting separately to solve the
problem, organized a safety commission to correlate the safety
activities of all groups; the commission "never lets up in its
1.
Herbert J. Stack,"Putting First Things First."
Safety
Education Association Bulletin, Volume II, Ho. 1, Novem­
ber 1940.
2*
Safety Education, p. 336.
93
campaign to train the whole community in the waye of safety."1
Hundreds of towns, cities, and counties have adopted co­
operative programs through safety councils, committees, commis­
sions, and other organizations.
In addition, most of the
states have a safety council or coordinating agency the purpose
of which is to provide a unified program "in which the highway
department, state department of education, state patrol, and any
other interested safety agency may cooperate intelligently."^
It is significant that twenty states have officially adopted
the traffic safety program embodied in Creating Safer Communi­
ties, publication of the National Conservation Bureau.
More
than 72,000 copies of this plan, embracing legislation, enforce­
ment, education and engineering methods for accident reduction,
have been distributed among communities in all states.
Among
the states with official editions of Creating Safer Communities
are New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maine.®
A similar plan is the Standard Highway Safety Program for
States aims, among other things,
"to promote the use of adequate
methods and techniques of traffic control," and "to create an
informed public opinion to support the continued application of
these methods through sustained state and local traffic safety
4
programs.
1.
Ibid., p. 339.
2.
Ibid., p. 333.
3ee Chapter XII for agencies and methodB of
coordinating safety education programs.
3.
Information from National Conservation Bureau.
4.
1940 Highway Safety Digest, back of front oover.
94
Promot ing Community Safety
Not only teachers and school officials, hut highway and
traffic engineers, police officers, newspaper men, safety men,
and citizens in many walks of life contribute to the promotion
of community traffic safety programs.
Among the devices and adds used by teachers in furthering
oommunity safety plans are:
assemblies to which the public is
invited; slogans, drawings, posters, and charts; dramatizations
and plays; talks by pupils before adult gatherings; poems, songs,
and limericks; films and slides; exhibits, parades, pageants,
and radio sketches; and demonstrations and tests.1
The discussion that follows presents a number of procedures
used by others than teachers, though often with the cooperation
of teachers, for creating public interest in traffic safety.
These procedures employ such media as newspapers and radio,
motion pictures and exhibits.
As Chancellor ChaBe and others
have pointed out, the information or propaganda diffused through
these avenues has proved useful to the engineer, the teacher and
the police officer in dealing with specific accident problems.
It reaches youngsters as well as adults, and serves to create
public readiness to accept responsibility for helping to prevent
traffic miBhaps.
Newspapers
In recent years there has been a large increase in the
1.
See Safety Education, p. 272.
95
amount of space given to traffic safety by the press in many com­
munities.
According to Arthur T. Robb, Editor of Editor & Pub­
lisher. newspapers are one of the main avenues of attack against
traffic accidents.
The application of newspaper space to the
solution of traffic problems is no longer experimental, he points
out.
He cites the work of newspapers in Providence, Washington,
D. C., Utica, and Hoboken, in arousing public interest in traf­
fic safety and promoting obedience to traffic regulations.
Special articles, cartoons, photographs, editorials, and the list­
ing of convicted traffic violators are among the methods used
by the press.1
The Commercial Investment Trust Safety
foundation has con­
tributed greatly to the promotion of public safety education
by providing annually a series of prizes for news writers, car­
toonists and editorial writers.
It has, since its organization
in 1936, sponsored seminars of safety for newspaper men in New
York, Indiana, Michigan, California, and other StateB.
These
seminars have been attended by more than 500 newspaper writers
who have thus become better equipped to write upon traffic safe­
ty subjects.
The effect of newspaper cooperation in accident prevention
campaigns may be judged from a statement made by Dewey Roach,
Chief of Police of Waterbury, Connecticut, to this investigator,
1.
See "The Place of the Newspapers in Traffic Safety," Commer­
cial Investment Trust Safety foundation, Indiana Newspaper
Seminar of Safety, 1938.
96
that the cooperation of newspapers in that city had been invalu­
able in making people acquainted with the city's safety program.
According to Lieutenant Barron, of the Police Department of Wor­
cester, Massachusetts,
in a personal interview with the present
writer,1 newspaper publicity was one of the three major factors
in the success of the city in achieving a reduction in traffic
accidents.
Publishing the names of convicted violators proved
that the police were in earnest in their enforcement campaign
and that there was no "fixing" of summonses, he asserted.
News­
paper warnings that a speed limit of 25 miles an hour had been
set by the authorities and would be enforced also helped in mak­
ing the speed restriction effective, he added.
Details of the various devices used by newspapers in pro­
moting traffic safety may be obtained from the National Safety
Council, Chicago, and from Editor & Publisher, New York.
It may be added that the present writer contributed more
than two hundred articles dealing with various phases of traf­
fic safety to the New York Times while he served as assistant
automobile editor and later as automobile editor.
During 1938
he prepared a series of twelve articles on traffic safety meth­
ods which were published in numerous American and Canadian news­
papers served by the Udlman Feature Syndicate, and in Public
Safety, issued by the National Safety Council.
Magazines
A number of periodicals in the safety and allied fields
1.
See Appendix.
97
carry much information helpful in the promotion of education
for traffic accident prevention.
he mentioned the following*
Among these periodicals may
Public Safety. Safety Education,
Safety, Safety Engineering. Public Roads. Traffic Engineering.
American Highways, Highway Research Abstracts, and Safety Educa­
tion Association's Bulletin.^
In addition to those listed* a number of popular magazines
and trade journals publish occasional articles dealing with
traffic safety.
.Readers Digest and the Woman's Home Companion
may be mentioned as two periodicals of general circulation which
during 1940 and 1941 published helpful articles on traffic safe­
ty.
American City, Civil Engineering, Engineering News-Record,
and Transit Journal regularly contain news or features devoted
to traffic developments.
Several state motor vehicle departments, including those
of New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey, and
highway safety commissions, including that of Connecticut, issue
monthly and special publications or releases.
These go to news­
papers and trade journals, radio broadcasting stations, service
clubs, safety councils, automobile groups, and school officials.
These publications contain information about traffic accidents
and furnish a background for local efforts in behalf of traffic
accident prevention.^
1.
See Bibliography for names and addresses of publishers.
2.
The present investigator has found especially interesting and
valuable two booklets issued by the State Highway Commis­
sion of Indiana.
One, Traffic Safety Guide 1939, contains
a digest of laws governing the ownership, registration,
I
?
?
H
I
*
I
I
98
Radio
The radio has become an important medium for traffic safe­
ty education*
During 1939 and 1940 the writer prepared a series
of radio spot announcements aB a cooperative enterprise of the
New York University Center for Safety Education and the New York
State Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
These announcements* giving
practical hints for the avoidance of automobile accidents by
drivers, pedestrians* and bicyclists* were broadcast by repre­
sentatives of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles of Mew York and of
other states.
A. similar series of traffic safety suggestions
was prepared by the present investigator at the Mew York Uni­
versity Center for Safety Education during 1939-1940 for the
use of the Mew York City Police Department.
One of the pro­
jects of the Worcester (Massachusetts) Police Department in­
volves the preparation and broadcasting of traffic safety ma­
terial in cooperation with the Worcester Citizens Traffic Safety
Committee and the National Conservation Bureau.1
Two other radio programs devoted to safety deserve mention:
HThe Sunday Driver*" sponsored by the National Broadcasting Com­
pany* and "Play Safe— Skills and Thrills in Sports*" a series of
eighteen programs presented weekly during 1940-1941 by the New
1.
and operation of motor vehicles as well as other informa­
tion useful to drivers.
The other, Engineering Safety
and Convenience into Indiana Highways * lays stress upon
the safety factors embodied in the state's highways
through correct engineering. Both booklets are excellent­
ly illustrated.
See Worcester Gets Results: A Report of Progress in Creating
Safer Communities. New York: National Conservation Bureau*
1940.
(mimeoTJ
•j
.t
%
\
99
York University Center for Safety Education over WOR.
All these
radio productions point to the entertainment and dramatic possi­
bilities of traffic safety programs on the air.
Irving Caesar’s "Songs of Safety* has proved an outstand­
ing type of radio program directed at public safety education.
During 1939 the first series in the "Legion of Safety" radio
programs developed by the American Legion with the cooperation
of the Automotive Safety foundation were broadcast over approxi­
mately 300 American stations.
In the spring of 1940 the second
series, consisting of thirteen fifteen-minute productions, were
carried by more than 350 radio stations from coast to coast.1
It is interesting to note that in the spring of 1940, for his
contribution to the cause of safe driving through "Big Town"
radio dramas, Edward 0. Robinson was honored by the National
Safety Council.**
Police departments in cities other than New York have found
the radio a valuable tool in enlisting public support toward ac­
cident reduction.
One of the duties of the Police Department
of Waterbury, Connecticut, as outlined in a personal interview
with Captain Dpggan, comprises police cooperation in broadcast­
ing four radio programs weekly, two on Monday and two on Friday.
Captain Duggan, Superintendent of Police Roach, and members of
the Police Accident.Squad of Waterbury have participated in these
1.
See Automotive Safety Foundation, 1940 Highway Safety Digest.
p. 49.
2.
New York Times, March 16, 1941, Section 10, p. 10.
100
programs.
In addition, some of the police executives of that
city have had brief spots on the programs of news commentators.1
In Hartford, Connecticut, the police and the director of the
State Highway Safety Commission use the radio consistently as a
means of public safety education.^
State police departments or highway departments in some
states, including New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Connecticut,
broadcast announcements of road conditions, warning motorists of
slippery highways, congested sections, detours, and other con­
ditions.
Several years ago the New Jersey State Police Depart­
ment during Sundays and other holidays in the summer sent ob­
servers in an airplane and advised drivers by radio what routes
were less congested.
Films and Slides
In Worcester, Massachusetts, the Police Department cooper­
ates with the Citizens Traffic Safety Committee in showing safe­
ty films and slides at Parent-Teacher Association meetings, churches,
clubs, schools, etc.
The police Department also cooperates in
providing motion picture trailers to be shown at local theatres.
Visual aids are used to good effect in many other parts of
the country to present the safety theme to adults.
It has been
said that many visual materials prepared primarily for school use
1.
See Appendix.
2.
Statement to the author by Wilfred E. Brown, formerly director,
Connecticut State Highway Safety Commission.
3.
Worcester Gets Result s.
101
can be used even more effectively in presenting safety educa­
tion to adults.1*
Posters,Exhibits, Demonstrations
The value of posters, exhibits and demonstrations in pro­
moting traffic safety among adults is widely recognized today.
For example, the New York Police Department has held exhibits
of traffic safety at the Greater New York Safety Council Conven­
tion and the National Automobile Show during the past three
years.
The New York State Bureau of Motor Vehicles held ex­
hibits and demonstrations at the National Safety Congress in
1939 and at the Heater New York Safety Council Convention in
1940.
The Bureau, in cooperation with the New York University
Center for Safety Education,maintained a driver testing booth
in the New York State Building at the New York World's Fair,
1939-1940.
The Motor Vehicle Department of Connecticut held a
number of exhibits and demonstrations of traffic safety at the
state highway safety conventions held in 1938 and 1940.
The
New York City Police Department has held demonstrations of safe
bicycling techniques in cooperation with the New York University
Center for Safety Education.
The preparation and distribution of window posters and bill­
boards is a regular part of the safety program undertaken by the
Worcester (Massachusetts) Police Department.2
Such media are
1.
Safety Education. Eighteenth Yearbook of American Associa­
tion of School Administrators, p. 195.
2.
Worcester Gets Results.
102
also extensively used in Providence, Rhode Island, as the writer
had occasion to see on visits to that city.
The National Conser­
vation Bureau and the American Legion are two unofficial organi­
zations active in the promotion of traffic safety education through
window posters and billboards.
Conferences and Conventions
The conventions of the National Safety Council, Internation­
al Association of Chiefs of Police, National
Education Associa­
tion, American Association of School Administrators, American
Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, and
State, county, and city safety conferences, all serve to focus
attention upon many aspects of traffic safety.
The addresses
and demonstrations presented at those gatherings receive wide
publicity, and thus contribute to greater public awareness of
traffic hazards.
Reference may be made briefly to the programs of two spe­
cial conferences sponsored by the New York University Center for
Safety Education during 1939-1940.
At one conference, devoted
to school safety administration, more than 200 school adminis­
trators from Eastern states met at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in
New York City on January 19, 1940, to hear and participate in
discussions of the following and other problems:
(l) the pro­
gram of instruction in safety education: its organization, con­
tent and methods of instruction; sources of materials; training
of teadhers; (2) supervising the safety program; (3) safety in
pupil transportation, and (4) establishment of safety rules and
105
regulations by Boards of Education.
The second conference, held
in Chicago on April 23, 1940, just preceding the annual conven­
tion of the American Association for Health, Physical Education,
and Recreation, had four central topics of discussion:
niques in accident prevention;
safety education;
(l) tech­
(2) development of a program of
(3) specific problems in safety education, and
(4) legal liability and financial protection in accidents.*Both school child and adult safety education played a signi­
ficant part at the Twenty-ninth National Safety Congress and E x ­
position held in Chicago, October 9.11, 1940.
Included in the
program were* (l) a symposium on "Current Problems in Safety
Education";
(2) conferences on "Problems in Teacher Education
for Safety," "School Safety Patrols in Secondary Schools," "Stu­
dent Participation in the Production of Visual Aids and Radio
Programs," and "Making Safety functional at the Elementary Level";
and (3) joint sessions of the child education section with the
street and highway traffic and the transit sections.^
forums, Public Addresses and Letters
The safety forum, designed to bring problems of traffic aceldent
prevention before special groups, has gained ground in recent
1*
* 0T I»ife, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Program
and Activities of the Center for Safety Education, Divi­
sion of General Education, New York University, for the
Years 1938.1940, p. 12. See the Bibliography for ab­
stracts of the proceedings of both conferences as pub­
lished by the Center.
2.
Safety Education Association Bulletin, Volume II, No. 1,
November 1940, p. 3.
104
years.
The Police Department of Worcester, JjJassachusetts, con­
ducts forums at which departmental personnel discuss acute or
special traffic accident situations.
The New York University
Center for Safety Education conducted in 1939-1940 a series of
weekly forums under the general theme of "New Horizons in Safe­
ty."
Among those who took part in the discussions were leaders
in traffic engineering, education, and enforcement.
The dis­
cussions centered in (l) means used by engineering, education
and enforcement authorities to provide increased safety, and
(2) the interrelationship between their activities and the gen­
eral safety programs of the nation, the state or the community.
Students, parents, and business and industrial executives at­
tended the twenty-eight forums held.*Addresses before service clubs, parent-teacher groups, etc.,
form part of the public education activities of police depart­
ments in many cities, including Evanston, Illinois, Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, Worcester, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island,
and Waterbury, Connecticut.
According to Superintendent Roach,
the Waterbury Police Department arranges for police officers to
address civic groups, women's clubs, and schools an average of
three times a week during the winter on topics related to traf­
fic safety.^
One device used effectively in Worcester, Massachusetts,
1.
For Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, p. 13.
2.
See Appendix.
105
is the sending of letters by the Police Department to clergy­
men and to civic, fraternal, and social organizations outlining
the purpose of the city’s traffic safety campaign and urging
their cooperation.*Publications
Publication of safety manuals, radio materials, and other
educational literature is a widely recognized method of main­
taining interest in accident avoidance.
The Yale University
Bureau.for Street Traffic Research, New York University Center
for Safety Education, Northwestern University Public Safety
Bureau, Rutgers University Public Safety Bureau, and Pennsyl­
vania State College Institute of Public Safety are among educa­
tional institutions which issue publications in the field of
traffic safety education.
The National Safety Council, National
Conservation Bureau, American Legion, Automotive Safety Founda­
tion, are among organizations which publish and distribute safe­
ty educational material.
The Work Projects Administration, in cooperation with state
agencies in North Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, and other states,
has not only provided driving instruction for adults but has is­
sued manuals and other literature to promote highway s a f e t y ^
In the category of educational publications may be listed
the leaflets or pamphlets given out at the end of motor vehicle
1.
Worcester Gets Results.
2.
See Safety Education, pp. 97-207, for a discussion of pro
cedures and techniques in educating adults in traffic
safety.
106
inspection lanes, notably in Wichita, Kansas.
As pointed out in
the discussion of motor vehicle inspection (q.v.), officials in
charge of the inspections are urged in the Motor Vehicle Inspec­
tion Manual to distribute safety reminders and suggestions for
motorists when they present their cars for inspection.1
This
point is emphasized in the Motor Vehicle Inspection Code by the
statement that "an excellent educational effect on the motor­
ists who visit" inspection stations can be created by "the dis­
play of a few attractive, forceful posters or slogans on the
walls.
It is the hope of the present writer that the Checklist for
Car Fitness,
presented in Chapter V, will be issued in pamphlet
form and made available (preferably free) to vehicle owners at
inspection stations and possibly to all licensed drivers at the
time when they apply for new or renewed driving licenses.
Such
distribution, under the official auspices of the motor vehicle
commissioner or director of motor vehicle inspection, would
it is believed, carry added authority that would enhance the
educational value of the pamphlet.
Contests
Mention has been made of the awards to newspaper men by the
Commercial Investment Trust Safety Foundation.
The National
Safety Council conducts a traffic safety contest in which states
1.
Chapter III, Section F, "Public Support and Information."
2.
American Standard Inspection Requirements for Motor Vehicles,
1
107
and cities participate annually.
The American Automobile Associ­
ation conducts an annual contest among cities and schools for
the purpose of improving methods of pedestrian protection.
The
National Federation of Women's Clubs holds every year a series
of regional contests designed to stimulate public education in
traffic safety, especially in local communities.
These contests
and awards aim at recognizing meritorious work in traffic acci­
dent prevention and encouraging the development of more effective
methods of accident control.
Because of the wide interest a-
roused by these contests it is felt that they have a consider­
able influence upon traffic safety education.
Research
Research may be considered among the techniques of safety
education when viewed from the standpoint that "research in safe­
ty education is a means by which the foundation of safe behavior
may be determined and prepared," and that it is "also the means
by which instruction in safety may be guided by aiding the in­
dividual to develop desirable habits and attitudes in his per­
sonal and social relationships.1,1
The various research projects in traffic safety education
now being conducted in many parts of the country cannot be de­
tailed here.
The reader wishing to obtain specific information
is referred to the report published (1940) by the New York Uni­
versity Center for Safety Education under the title, Research
1.
For Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, p. 3.
A
1
j
108
Needs in Safety Education} to various publications of the High­
way Research Board, Washington, D. C., and to the national Edu­
cation Association's Research Bulletin ("Problems That Lie
Ahead", p. 265), and Safety and Safety Education: An Annotated
Bibliography ("Research Studies", p. 54).
CHAPTER V
THE MOTOR VEHICLE AS A FACTOR IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
This chapter will include consideration of (l) those charac­
teristics of vehicular design which may tend to contribute to
mishaps— i.e., "blind spots", poor visibility from the driver's
seat, projecting ornaments,handles, knobs, etc.; and of (2) those
characteristics of vehicle maintenance or equipment which may
render the vehicle mechanically unsafe— i.e., poor brakes, worn
tires, inadequate headlights, etc.
Design and Maintenance
Since in many particulars both design and maintenance are
closely allied, no sharp differentiation will be attempted in
every instance when discussing the vehicle as a factor in traf­
fic accidents or the methods and remedies recommended for im­
proving the situation.
An example of the close relation between
design and maintenance may be seen in the case of brakes.
Every
passenger car manufactured since 1940, with the exception of the
Bantam and the Willys, is originally equipped with hydraulic
brakes, which usually require less maintenance attention than
the older type, mechanical brakes.1
1.
An accident attributed to
Information from Automobile Manufacturers Association, New
York.
110
the "poor** brakes of a vehicle equipped with mechanical brakes,
common in cars three or four years old or older, could there­
fore be set down to inadequate maintenance of the brakes, or to
their poor design, which on principle called for more careful
maintenance and attention by the owner.
Again— not to labor the point— the older headlamps allowed
dust to collect inside and gave less illumination than the
sealed beam headlamps which became standard equipment with 1940
automobiles.
Should an accident involving defective lights be
attributed to faulty maintenance or to the fact that the older
lights were not so well built or so powerful as the new ones?
Fortunately it is not important for the purpose of this
study to determine such points exactly.
What is important, and
will be discussed, are the continuing efforts of legislators,
enforcement officials engineers and educators to improve the
mechanical safety of motor vehicles.
Norman Damon, director,
Automotive Safety Foundation, in a statement to this writer
points oht:
The application of advanced scientific printiples, the
use of sturdier, longer-lasting materials, and the constant
improvements in methods of construction have added, in the
last decade, nearly two years to the safe life-expectancy
of automobiles.
People not only pay less for a motor ve­
hicle today than they did ten years ago, but they get an
infinitely more efficient and safe machine.
This extra safety and strength are built into every
car and are not confined to any price class.
Of course,
the owner must do his part.
Not only increased safety,
but greater comfort, greatly reduced operating costs, and
more enjoyment await the motorist who keeps his car in
proper condition.
Ill
Vehicle Design and Accidents
Discussing vehicular design as an accident-producing element,
a study under direction of the United States Bureau of Public
Roads (now the Public Roads Administration of the Federal Works
Agency) observed:
Definite evidence is available to show that the mechan­
ical condition of the vehicle itself contributes to certain
accidents. Although it is not so apparent, it is also true
that the vehicle may contribute to an accident through
features of its design. For example, reports frequently
mention pedestrians being struck by projecting door handles.
Other reports describe the results of passengers accidental­
ly opening a door while the car is moving.
And it is more
than likely that drivers sometimes fail to see pedestrians
or other vehicles because of "blind spots" inherent in the
car*8 design.
Maxwell Halsey, associate director of the Yale University
Bureau for Street Traffic Research, in a statement to this writer
asserts that, in his opinion, improvements in the riding quality
and quietness of cars (which cannot well be classified as design
defects) have led to many accidents,
motorists to drive faster.
especially by encouraging
In older cars, he points out, a driv­
er could tell from the engine noise, the roughness of the riding,
the rattling of parts, etc., when he was going "fast".
Some of
the smaller, less expensive oars would begin to give the driver
unmistakable symptoms of discomfort at speeds as low as 30 or 35
miles an hour.
Today many automobiles are so smooth in their
operation, even at high speeds, that a driver may not realize
he is going too fast for conditions of roadway, weather, or his
1.
Motor-Vehicle Traffic Conditions in the United States, Part
5,' "Case distories of Fatal highway Accidents," p. 62.
112
driving ability until it is too late to avert an accident.
Halsey cites the case of an elderly woman who had for years
driven her car without mishap; within a week after trading it
in for a more powerful, quieter model she had sideswiped a truck
in rounding a ourve at too high speed.
1 must have been doing
about 50, but the car felt as if I was doing only about 30 !"
she explained.
The introduction of longer hoods, presumably to give pas­
senger cars a sleeker or streamlined appearance, probably led
to accidents by blocking the view of the road immediately ahead;
a reduction in visibility aggravated in the case of drivers of
short stature.
"Safety Engineering"Awards
Federal and state agencies inspect motor vehicles for weight
and size, and (in the case of the Interstate Commerce Commission)
for the proper condition of brakes, lights, tires and other equipment held important to safety of operation.
Similar agen­
cies enforce the laws against adulteration of gasoline.
unfortunate,
It is
in the view of the present writer, that no official
agency exists to test and pass upon the design (apart from the
maintenance of certain features of motor vehicles, with the ob­
ject of protecting the public against hazards created perhaps
in the interest of beauty or streamlining.
For this reason it seems appropriate to review the efforts
of one magazine— Safety Engineering, "America's Pioneer Safety
Magazine", a publication of Alfred H. Best Company, Inc., New
York and Albany, New York— to call attention to details of style
113
or design which in practice have caused or may cause injuries
to drivers* occupants, or pedestrians.
Bach year for the past
four years the editorial and engineering staff of the magazine
have surveyed the new automobiles presented for that year and
listed in a “safety index" the good and had features of each
oar— i. e., factors of design likely to further safe operation
or contribute to accident or injury.
In the accompanying figure E stands for excellent and in­
dicates those factors considered design improvements made in the
interest of driving and riding safety; G stands for good, that
is, those features of design where the hazards,
in the opinion
of the magazine, are lessened but still offer room for improve­
ment; and F stands for fair— designs held to be sufficiently
hazardous to offer the possibility of accident or injury.
In awarding the "Safety Engineering" trophy to Hudson in
1940 "for eminence in safe automobile body design,"3- Harry Armand, managing editor, points first to evidences of improvement
in designs adversely critized in former years, and second to
evidences of "backsliding” toward unsafe designs in certain new
models.
Such hazards as sharp door edges, stiletto radiator
ornaments,
insecure door locks, metal roberadls, protruding metal
gadgets and sharp-pointed control knobs, he points out, have
mainly been eliminated from automobiles introduced in 1940 (i.e.,
1941 models).
1.
Safety Engineering, Hovember, 1940, p? 14.
114
EXTERIOR
Front
Vis­
ion
Rear
Vision
Rear
Fender
Front
Fen­
der
Radi­
ator
Orna­
ment
Tail
Lights
Wind
Shield
Wiper
Buick ........
E
E
E
E
G
E
E
Cadillac
.....
E
F
E
E
F
E
E
Chevrolet
....
E
E
E
E
G
E
E
Chrysler .......
E
F
E
E
F
E
E
DeSoto ........
E
F
E
E
F
G
E
Dodge ........
E
G
E
E
F
G
G
Ford .........
E
F
E
E
E
G
E
Hudson..... .
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
Lincoln ......
E
E
F
E
G
E
E
Lincoln-Zephyr .
E
F
F
E
G
E
E
Mercury .......
E
F
E
E
F
E
E
........
E
G
F
E
F
E
E
Oldsmobile ....
E
E
E
E
F
E
E
Packard ......
E
E
E
E
F
E
E
Plymouth .......
E
G
E
E
G
E
E
Pontiac ......
E
G
E
E
F
E
E
Studebaker ....
E
G
E
E
E
E
G
Willys...... .
E
F
E
E
E
E
E
Nash
FIGURE I
Ratings of Automobiles on the Basis of Design Elements
115
INTERIOR
Robe
Rack
Padding
Rear of
Front
Seat
Dash
Knobs
Pro­
trud­
ing
Hand­
les
Metal
Gad­
gets
Accessi­
bility
Park­
ing
Brake
Pro­
ject­
ing
Dome
Light
Buick ........
E
G
G
G
G
E
G
Cadillac
......
F
E
G
G
G
E
F
Chevrolet ......
E
G
F
G
G
E
E
Chrysler .....
G
G
G
F
G
E
E
DeSoto .......
E
E
E
F
F
E
E
Dodge........ .
E
G
E
E
G
E
E
Ford ...........
E
F
E
F
F
E
E
Hudson...... .
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
Lincoln ......
G
E
E
F
F
E
E
Lincoln-Zephyr .
G
E
G
F
F
E
F
Mercury ......
F
F
E
G
G
E
E
N a s h .........
G
E
G
E
E
E
G
Oldsmobile .....
E
G
E
F
F
E
F
Packard ......
G
G
F
F
G
E
F
Plymouth .....
E
G
E
E
E
E
E
Pontiac ......
E
G
F
F
F
E
F
Studebaker ....
G
E
E
G
G
E
E
Willys.......
—
F
G
F
F
F
G
FIGURE I
(Continued)
116
On the other h§nd, he asserts, the car owner would be safer
without such equipment as the steel skirt available for the rear
wheel> which makes it more difficult to inspect tires for cuts,
etc.) and makes more difficult the use of safety chains for win­
ter driving.
Again, "Safety is not served by an enlarged rear
window, for instance, if it is placed on a semi-horizontal angle
or if the upholstery padding at the top of the rear seat is
brought too high and obstructs the lower four inches of the
rear window."*
Added padding at the top of the front seat gives
little protection unless the padding is brought down sufficiently
far to cushion an impact.
It must be noted that two features of mechanical construc­
tion, rather than body design, are included in consideration of
the Hudson's safety features.
One is a double braking system
(hydraulic and mechanical), both operating from the brake pedal.
Should the hydraulic brakes, owing to leakage of fluid or ser­
vice neglect,
fail to function, the mechanical brakes would auto­
matically come into operation to stop the vehicle.
Another is
the patented front-wheel control, said to keep the wheels in
their true course even in the arent of a tire blowout.
Body design improvements of the Hudson in the direction of
safety, according to Armand, include (l) re-design of rear fend­
ers to provide a clear view of the tires and encourage the use
of tire chains when such added safeguard becomes necessary or
advisable; (2) construction of all switches and panel controls
1.
Safety Engineering, p. 16.
117
flush with the body, and (4) locking devices to make it "extreme­
ly difficult to open the door accidentally from the inside."
In conclusion he points out:
Suffice to say, a poll of visitors at the Automobile
Show offered conclusive proof that safety is a determin­
ing factor in the purchase of new cars and the many S's in
the accompanying chart bear eloquent testimony to this in­
creasing attention to accident-cause possibilities.
Body stylists have become imbued with the thought that
safety comes before gleaming chromium and that protruding
gadgets bear as little relationship to safety as brass
carriage lamps do to streamlining.
It may be noted in addition that Consumers Union Report
(February 1941) gives honorable mention (the only award made)
to the Studebaker Champion for "increased body space and great­
ly increased vision."
Safety Glass
An important milestone in vehicular safety came with the
introduction of safety or non-shattering glass in the windshields
and windows of motor vehicles.
Previous to the use of this type
of glass, even minor traffic accidents were likely to result in
disfiguring injuries to drivers and occupants of the vehicles
involved.
Thereafter the chances of severe gashes from this
source, even under strong impact, were greatly minimized.
The use of safety glass represents an improvement which may
be credited both to engineers and to enforcement agencies, for
while it is true that the first group made possible, through
research and development, the introduction of this safer glass,
the second group did much to increase its use first by official
118
pressure and then by legal enactment Implemented by police enforce­
ment .
As the use of safety glass in the windshields and windows
of vehicles extended, representatives of automobile companies,
glass manufacturers, state motor vehicle administrators,
insur­
ance companies and legislators met under the auspices of the
American Standards Association, 1937, to work out a series of
standard tests and requirements for safety glass.
These in
two and one-half years had been adopted by twenty-four of the
thirty-seven states requiring use of safety glass in motor ve­
hicles.
Today all motor vehicles manufactured in the United
States, and many in Canada, are equipped with non-shattering
glass.^
"Anti-Hitch" Bus
Another instance of a design improvement may be credited
to all three major Mapproaches"--engineering,
enforcement.
educational, and
Reference is to the adoption, in February 1941, of
a new type of bus for operation on New York City routes that will
eliminate any projections likely to provide a finger or toe hold
for school-age and other children.
The newly designed buses,
with taillights, license plates and windows flush with the ex­
terior of the body, are expected to reduce accidents resulting
from hitohing by children.
Such mishaps (on buses and other ve­
hicles) in New York City in 1940 totaled 232 injured and six
1.
"Highway Traffic Standards," Industrial Standardization,
June 1939, pp. 149-150.
119
killed, of whom, according to police records, 214 of the injured
and five of the killed were children sixteen years old or young­
er.1
Hitching of rides is one of the dangerous practices against
which teachers have cautioned school children for many years.
It is illegal under the motor vehicle laws of New York State
and other states.
Nevertheless, as shown by the accident figures
quoted, many children continued to indulge in this dangerous
practice.
With the elimination, through design improvements, of the
opportunity to hold on to ridges and crevices on the rear of buses,
the automotive engineer thus comes to the assistance of the edu­
cator, while the enforcement officials (in this case the State
Transit Commission, City Board of Transportation, and the Bureau
for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency) further the accomplish­
ment of the desired safety ends by legal order.
Similar measures
affecting trolley-cars and taxicabs would, if taken by the con­
stituted authorities, require application of engineering tech­
niques to redesign those vehicles.
It may be added that proper maintenance and the exercise of
caution can often compensate for poor design or faulty mechanism
of a vehicle.
For example, many drivers of the writer’s ac­
quaintance have driven without mishap on tires that could be
described unsafe by traveling at a reduced speed, braking gently,
and so forth.
1*
Facts from New York Times, February 26, 1941.
120
Meohanioal Defects and Accidents*
According to state reports to the national Safety Council,
a defective vehicle was reported to have been involved in 9 per
cent of the fatal accidents in 1939.1
However,
"the state-re­
ported averages may understate the true importance of vehicular
defects; a careful study made some years ago indicated that ve­
hicular defects were at least a contributing cause in 15 per cent
2
of the accidents."
The following table, from Accident Pacts 1940, p. 90, shows
the major mechanical defects listed for vehicles involved in
deaths during 1939;
TABHE III
Condition of Vehicles Involved in Traffic Fatalities,
Condition of Vehicles
Defective brakes.................. .
LiriEht defects.............. .
Steering gear defective............ .
Tire failures.........................
Other defeots
No de feet s............••••...........
1939
3a states'
Average
Range of
Percentage Percentages
2
2
1
1
1
93
0
*
0
*
-6#
-10#
-2#
- 4#
...
81 -96#
100
All Vehicles Involved..........
Source: keporta of state traffic authorities. '
*Less than half of one per cent.
Note:
There are wide variations from state to state in the
reported importance of vehicular defects.
It is probable l
that the very low percentages are the result of extreme un­
der-reporting or faulty classification methods. A careful
study made several years ago indicated that vehicular de­
fects were at least a contributing cause in 15 per cent
of the fatal accidents.
1.
2.
Accident Facts 1940» p. 37.
XiOc. cit.
121
The factor of under-reporting mentioned in the note to the
above table is emphasized in the report of detailed.case his­
tories of 1,715 fatal highway accidents compiled in 1937 under
direction of Thomas H. MacDonald, then Chief, United States B u ­
reau of Public Roads (now Commissioner, Public Roads Adminis­
tration).
"In only the rarest cases," says the report,3, "is
information given about the mechanical condition of the oar or
cars involved.
Evidence in this respect is, of course, often
destroyed in the accident, but, even under favorable circum­
stances, no investigations or teste are usually made."
Besides the destruction of such evidence in some accidents
is the fact that information is gathered largely from accident
reports submitted by the drivers who survived, and these (l)
may not be able to assign causes accurately, or (2) may not
wish to admit that their cars were in a defective condition.
In its publication, Motor Carrier Accidents During the
Calendar Year 1938 the Bureau of Motor Carriers of the Inter­
state Commerce Commission reported that 7.7 per cent of the
truck accidents and 3.3 of the bus accidents indicated defects
in the vehicle prior to the accident.
Among these defects were
listed defective brakes, tires, steering mechanism and headlamps.
On the difficulty of isolating vehicular defects as a fac­
tor in accidents the American Association of Motor Vehicle Admin­
istrators declares:**
1»
Highway Accidents, p. 23.
2.
See Chapter I, Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual, a joint pub­
lication of the Association and the National Conservation
Bureau.
122
The condition of the vehicle and the way it is oper­
ated are so closely interrelated that in many cases it would
he erroneous to say that an accident was due entirely to im­
proper operation or to defective equipment.
To isolate and
determine the part that mechanical failures of vehicles
play in accidents would require expert examination of all
cars involved--and in the great majority of instances this
is an ohvious impossibility.
The most that can be said de­
finitely is that maladjustment of the vehicle may be a con­
tributing factor in accidents, even if not a direct cause
of them.
Defective Vehicles
The most comprehensive study of defective motor vehicles,
that completed in 1938 under auspices of the United States Bu­
reau of Public Roads (now Public Roads Administration), revealed
that very high percentages of the vehicles presented at inspec­
tion stations for the first time were rejected for failure to
meet one or more mechanical safety standards.
In Vermont,
for instance, 86.8 per cent of the vehicles
inspected in 1936 failed to meet the requirements.
On the basis
of total vehicle registration for the State during that year,
the percentage of vehicles failing to meet requirements for each
item inspected follows:
B r akes.......
Headlights................
Rear lights...............
Steering..............
H o r n . .....................
Windshield wiper..........
Mirror.....................
Plates.....................
Muffler....................
37.4
75.0
20.9
12.1
3.6
6.8
2.2
1.6
2.9 1
In Pennsylvania, in 1936,75.1 per cent of the vehicles in­
spected failed to pass the firBt inspection.
1.
The percentages
Motor-Vehicle Traffic Conditions in the United States, Part
4, Table I.
123
of vehicles inspected failing to meet requirements for each item
are given as follows:
Brakes........
34.1
Lights................... 72.6
Steering..............
12.8
H orn......................
2.7
Windshield wiper.........
5.8
Mirror...................
4.01
In 1935, in Massachusetts* 74 per cent of vehicles inspect‘ed failed.
In Delaware 64 per cent failed in 1935* 59.3 per
cent in 1936* and 35.2 per cent in 1937.^
Among the vehicle defects contributing to the accidents
the case histories of which were studied under Federal Govern­
ment direction are cited the following:®
Defective tire* resulting in a blow-out causing
the vehicle to swerve and turn over.
Defective windshield wiper* which failed to function*
preventing the driver from seeing a bicyclist in time to stop.
Defective steering gear (?loose) and defective brakes*
combining to prevent the driver from swerving or stopping in
time to avoid striking a pedestrian.
Defective headlights* going off when truck was round­
ing a curve and causing the driver to lose control of the ve­
hicle* which struck a culvert.
Commenting upon a "flagrant case of the operation of a de-
1.
L o c . cit.
2.
L o c . cit.
3.
Motor-Vehicle Traffic Conditions in the United States, Part
5* pp. 62-66.
124
fective vehicle," the investigators in the study above mentiored
declare: "There can be little justification for a dealer selling
a car unfit for use, nor for the regulations which permitted its
sale.*1
Origin of Vehicle Inspections2
mechanical inspection of motor vehicles originated as part
of *Save-A-Life* campaigns conducted in New York, Massachusetts
and Maryland as early as 1927, and in other states as well there­
after.
Automobile clubs, safety organizations, and insurance
companies encouraged vehicle owners to present their cars at
lanes where such items of equipment as brakes, lights, and tires
were looked over by a service mechanic.
These lanes were unof­
ficial in character, and there was no legal compulsion upon ve­
hicle owners to have their machines inspected.
According to
John J. Hall, director of special services of the National Con­
servation Bureau, who was active in these campaigns, several mil­
lions of vehicles were inspected at voluntary lanes operated
between 1927 and 1930.
By 1929 Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Massachusetts had en­
acted legislation for state-wide periodic inspection of motor
vehicles.
As official or compulsory inspections gained among
states and cities, the voluntary lane inspections subsided.
The Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual lists the following types
1.
Ibid.. p. 66
2.
Pacts from Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual, pp. 3-12, and
National Safety Council. Enforcement for Traffic Safety,
pp. 9-11.
'1
125
of inspection stations as of 1940:
State owned and operated stations.
In this type of
station the state purchases or leases building, purchases the
equipment, hires supervisors and inspectors, and has complete
jurisdiction over the entire operation of the stations.
Private stations appointed by state.
In this case
the stations operate under an inspection Ian empowering the Btate
to appoint garages or service stations to conduct inspections
under rules andxegulations established by the state.
Municipally onned and operated stations.
This type
of station operates under a city ordinance and a state enabling
act permitting a municipality of a certain size to conduct its
onn inspection program.
The stations are maintained and oper-
ated directly by the city.
Combinations of Official Systems.
Under the state
owned and operated plan the state may appoint privately owned
garageB for the inspection of vehicles in rural districts in
which it would be impractical or uneconomic to establish state
owned stations, or provide state operated portable stations for
rural areas.
Under the plan involving private stations appoint­
ed by the state, the state may also appoint a number of munici­
pally owned and operated stations for the inspection of vehicles
in cities having a registration large enough to support such
stations.
In addition, many police departments maintain motor vehicle
inspection squads, equipped with decelerometer (portable brake
tester) and sometimes with headlight-testing and other equipment,
I
126
to say noting of noise meters in New York City.
The officers
stop cars at random, and check the brakes, horn, windshield
wiper,
license plates, etc.
Upon discovering defective equip­
ment they notify the driver to have the defect corrected within
twenty-four or forty-eight hours.1
Particularly effective work
of this type is done in cities with accident investigation bu ­
reaus or divisions in the Police Department, such as Miami, Flo­
rida, and Evanston, Illinois; and where investigation of fatal
traffic accidents is a regular duty of the Police Department
vehicular homicide squad, as in New York.2
3
Compulsory Inspection of Vehicular Condition
Seventeen states and fifteen cities now have official com­
pulsory inspection of motor vehicles, and others are planning
similar action to make sure that drivers and owners keep vehicles
in safe condition.
States with compulsory inspection are:
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Washington
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Cities with compulsory inspection are (the cities listed
1.
See also Motor-Vehicle Traffic Conditions in the United
States, Part 4, “Official Inspection o£ Vehicles.“
2.
See International Association of Chiefs of Police, Accident
Prevention Bureaus in Municipal Police Departments.
3.
Data from Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual.
127
operate municipal inspection stations; they are cities outside
of states having inspection systems):
Billings, Montana
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chicago, Illinois
Cincinnati, Ohio
Des Moines, Iowa
Evanston, Illinois
Knoxville, Tennessee
Sioux City,
Lincoln, Nebraska
Memphis, Tennessee
Miami, Florida
Miami Beach, Florida
Norwood, Ohio
Omaha, Nebraska
Portland, Oregon
Iowa
It is estimated that in 1941 more than 8,400,000 motor ve­
hicles of all kinds will be inspected for safety equipment in
the states and cities having offioial inspection stations.^
The number of inspections held per vehicle per year varies from
one to four, most of the states inspecting vehicles twice a year.^
Value of Vehicle Inspection
The National Conference on Street and Highway Safety in
preparing the 1930 Uniform Vehicle Code recognized the need for
motor vehiole inspection by a mandatory provision requiring the
motor vehicle authority to designate a period at least once but
not more frequently than twice each year during which resident
owners of motor vehicles must present their vehicles for inspec­
tion and obtain certificates of approval.
(Act V, Article XVII
of 1938 Revisions).
In its report to the Seventy-fifth Congress, third session,
(1938) the Bureau of Public Roads of the Department of Agricul-
1.
Estimate made by officials of the National Conservation B u ­
reau, joint -publishers of the Motor Vehicle Inspection
Manual.
2.
Highway Accidents— Their Causes and Recommendations for Their
Prevention, p. ~36.
128
ture (later the Public Roads Administration of the Federal Works
Agency) made this statement endorsing official inspection of
motor vehicles, "States which do not now require periodic inspec­
tion of motor vehicles in order to insure their mechanical fit­
ness for safe operation on the highways should give considera­
tion to the advisability of enacting legislation on this subject."1
®he National Safety Council, in a study prepared with the
aid and advice of traffic and enforcement officials,
lists three
important values of official vehicle inspection:
(1) It improves the general standard of vehicle con­
dition.
(2) It improves the quality of garage workmanship in
making adjustments and repairs.
(3) It provides an excellent opportunity for inform­
ing drivers about the condition of their cars and the per­
sonal responsibility for driving safety when their vehicles
have been approved.*
The Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual approved by the- American
Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators points (Chapter I)
to other values, aside from accident reduction, which may re­
sult from programs of inspection:
One is the psychological effect on the driver.
For
example, a motorist who has been shown that his brakes
meet only the minimum requirements, will tend to drive
more carefully, and to remember that his brakes should
be adjusted immediately.
Another effect is the educational one of informing
the car owner that certain parts need periodic attention,
and that it is generally less expensive to have his ve­
hicle cheoked regularly than to wait until a breakdown oc-
1.
Highway Accidents, p. 16.
2.
Enforcement for Traffic Safety, p. 11.
129
curs. Many owners have testified to the savings obtained
through early discovery of defects.
Rejection by an inspection station is bound to create
a feeling in the motorist that he is driving an unsafe car,
and that consequently he may be held the negligent party
in case of collision with a car that has been properly
maintained.
From the standpoint of enforcement, inspection can
be made to have a salutary influence by impressing upon
drivers that the authorities are determined to reduce traf­
fic accidents and to that end demand the motorist's cooper­
ation.
Thus official motor vehicle inspection will bring
greater respect for enforcement officers and a more help­
ful attitude in regard to observance of traffic rules and
regulations.
According to Thomas 5. MacDonald, Commissioner, Public Roads
Administration, "if all states would require periodic inspec­
tion of all vehicles and provide that it be made by public em­
ployees rather than by private agencies, many mechanically un­
safe vehicles which now operate freely upon the highways to the
serious hazard of all traffic thereon would be eliminated.”^
On the other hand, no less an authority than Dr. H. C.
Dickinson, Chief, Heat and Power Division, United States Bureau
o
of Standards, questions the value of motor vehicle inspection.
He points out, for instance, that inspection on an efficient basis
would cost the states at least $25,000,000 per year, and that
greater results in the interest of highway safety could be ob-
1.
Highway Accidents, p. 14.
2.
Speaking in his private capacity.
See Is Compulsory, Periodic
Inspection Worth the Trouble and Cost? issued by American
Automobile Association, 1938,' ST viewpoint favorable to
inspection is expressed by William J. Dearden in a similar­
ly titled pamphlet issued by the A. A. A., 1938.
130
tained by allocating such a sum to other type of traffic safety
improvement, such as removal of highway hazards.
Inspection and
Accidents
The Highway Safety Commission of Connecticut, in its report
to the Governor, December 29, 1938,^- cites figures tending to
show that vehicular inspections have reduced accidents attribut­
able to defective equipment.
In some of the states which require inspection, the
experience has been too limited to make accurate compa­
risons with the accident records of those states where no
inspection is required, but it is significant that the
eighteen states (then) requiring car inspection have
reported to the National Safety Council a decrease in
fatalities for 1938 over 1937 of 24.7%, while the remaining
thirty states show a decrease in fatalities in 1938 over
1937 of 19.5%.
The states having inspections have obviously
benefited by them, and it is apparent that these states
consider such inspections a well worth while part of their
safety campaigns.
It adds, on the basis of reports from the State Department
of Motor Vehicles, that the results of the vehicular inspections
in Connecticut show, despite a large increase in the number of
vehicles using the highways, "a decrease in the number of acci­
dents caused by the failure of safety equipment or because of
2
mechanical defects in cars."
The inspection standards recommended by official or offi­
cially sponsored organizations are discussed below.
It may be
indicated at this point that “in practically all cases, where
1•
Op. cit., p . 19.
2.
This question of “cause", which cannot be entered into exten­
sively here, is one of the bones of contention between
proponents and opponents of compulsory vehicle inspection.
151
the results of two or more inspections were reported, the number
of vehicles failing to meet inspection decreased with each suc­
ceeding inspection period."1
Figures based upon New Jersey's experience with vehicle
inspection throws light upon this finding.
New Jersey, where
1,027,000 vehicles were registered in 1940, instituted in January
1938 a system of state owned and operated inspection stations.
Every motor vehicle in the state is inspected twice a year, the
motor owner paying a fee of 50 cents for each inspection.
Rejections for steering defects decreased from 90,501 in the
first inspection period of 1938 to 39,045 in the first period of
1940.
The number of rejections owing to defective brakes were,
in round figures, 134,000 in the first period of 1938 and 130,000
in the second period of that year, a reduction of approximately
4,000.
In 1939, approximately 139,000 vehicles were rejected
for defective brakes during the first period, and 121,000 during
the second period.
Thus it may be said that a second inspection within the same
year reveals fewer defective vehicles.
The fact that the number
of cars found with defective brakes in the first period of 1939
exceeded the number in the first period of 1938 may indicate a
larger percentage of defective vehicles during the initial inspec­
tion period of each year.
registration.
Or it may reflect an increase in vehicle
Further study is required to answer this question.
1.
Motor-Vehicle Traffic Conditions in the United States,
Fart 4, p . 3.
2.
Data from James Shanley, Chief of Testing Division, New
Jersey State Motor Vehicle Inspection Department.
152
Brake Test Results
Recent exhaustive tests on brakes have brought to light
two points of importance to safe driving.
Discussing the
results of these tests, Wilfred E. Brown Jr., representative
to the United States Public Roads Administration of a brake
advisory committee sponsored by twelve national organizations,
declares:
The most significant finding of the brake committee
is that it is not possible to project stopping distances
as measured at a given speed and under given conditions
to a higher speed and under other conditions.
In other
words, there is no assuranoe from the behavior of brakes
at 20 miles an hour under one set of circumstances that
they will behave in like manner at 60 miles an hour under
different circumstances.
This holds true for both pass­
enger cars and trucks, but is further complicated in the
case of trucks by whether they are loaded or empty.
Another finding is that it is not possible to predict
with assurance how long a set of brakes found in excellent
condition will retain their efficiency if maintenance is
not kept up. The rate of deterioration is not uniform or
constant. Because brakes today stop a vehicle in 20 feet
from 20 miles an hour does not mean that three months from
now, even under uniform operation of the vehicle, they will
stop the vehicle in 22 or 25 feet. They may; or they may
require a much longer distance to stop.1
The second finding is of special interest in relation to
inspection of motor vehicles*
If brakes certified safe today
may become defective in a much shorter time, even under normal
driving, than the operator would expect, what assurance of safety
may he or the state derive from the certificate of approval?
Official Safety Requirements
At inspection stations the lights, brakes, tires,
steering
mechanism and other features intimately related to safe operation.
1.
In an interview on March 27, 1941.
155
are checked, usually twice a year, and approval certificates are
issued only to cars in sound condition.
Defective vehicles are
rejected as unsafe, and must not he operated until the proper ad­
justments or replacements have heen made.
On August 16, 1939 the American Standards Association approved
an American Standard code of inspection requirements for motor
vehicles.
This code, officially entitled American Standard Inspec­
tion Requirements for M otor Vehicles, was developed hy a committee
representing thirty-one national organizations, including the
United States Public Roads Administration,
functioning under the
procedure of the American Standards Association and under sponsor­
ship of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
and the National Conservation Bureau.
The standards were set up to aid state and municipal motor
vehicle inspection agencies to "come to a fair judgment as to
the mechanical adequacy of motor vehicles to operate within their
jurisdictions."1
The standards contained in the code represent
minimum requirements below which a vehicle is deemed to be in
unsafe mechanical condition.
The scope of the code is described
as follows in the Foreword:
Performance requirements and methods of testing with
relation to the safe operation of motor vehicles on the
highways of those parts and equipment, such as braking
systems, steering mechanisms, lighting systems, frames,
wheels, tires, other parts and equipment, the proper per­
formance of which bears a distinct relationship to the
safe operation of the motor vehicle.
Competent safety practitioners, such as Sidney Williams,
Director of Public Safety, National Safety Council, and Julien H.
1.
American Standard Inspection Requirements for Motor Vehicles,
Foreword.
154
Harvey, Managing Director, National Conservation Bureau, have
expressed to this writer the opinion that the code of vehicle
safety under discussion (l) should popularize and tend to make
more general the practice of periodic inspection of motor vehi­
cles whether compulsory or voluntary, and (2) will probably have
a strong influence in encouraging private car owners to follow
the lead of commercial fleet operators in maintaining vehicles
in safe condition.
Sharing this view, and in the belief that this truly national
code of vehicle safety should be read and studied by all who are
interested in the promotion of traffic safety, the writer has (l)
analyzed all tne provisions of the code and of the brake perform­
ance requirements in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania
and the City of Memphis, Tennessee, and (2) prepared a summary,
in non-technical language, of the major recommendations.
He has
also studied the motor vehicle safety requirements of the District
of Columbia, Massachusetts and Connecticut, as contained in
official publications, and visited inspection stations in Massa­
chusetts and New Jersey while vehicles were being tested for
safety equipment.
The section that follows is the result of this work.
It is
hoped that the Checklist will be of interest to motorists not only
in states or cities where inspection is compulsory but in other
states and cities as well.
Several competent specialists, including Carroll S. Mealey,
New York State Motor Vehicle Commissioner, have carefully read
the Checklist and have pronounced it technically correct.
155
CHECKLIST FOR CAR FITNESS
1#
Headlighta and Other Lights
National Safety Council figures show that nearly two-thirds
of all traffic deaths occur at night, when only about one-third
of the driving is done.^"
Defective headlights are probably the most common cause of
rejection at official inspections.
2
The average motorist cheats himself of muc]a of the light
his headlamps could give him.
Through dirty headlamp lenses,
corroded reflectors, weak bulbs, or poor wiring connections,
many drivers lose one-third to one-half of the illumination to
which they are entitled.
Under the Uniform Inspection Cods'* a light output of 70
per cent or more of the normal light when the lamp was new is
desirable.
Headlamps now giving less than 50 per cent of the
light they gave when new are cause for rejecting the vehicle.
Headlamps should be properly focused and aimed.
Cars with
headlamps noticeably out of focus, or improperly aimed, are
naturally a menace on the road, and must be rejected under the
code.
Proper Use of Headlights.
Use of headlamps with due regard
for the safety of others and of yourself.
A driver blinded by
headlights may easily swerve into the path of the oncoming car.
1.
Accident Facts 1940, p. 37.
2.
Motor-Vehicle Traffic Conditions in the United States,
Part 4, Table 1.
This is the author's popularized designation for the American
Standard Inspection Requirements for Motor Vehicles.
3.
156
The laws of many states require depressing the country "beam
if an oncoming car is within 500 feet.
Checking All the Lights.
Lights meet the safety requirements
of the code ifs
1.
The bulbs in all required lamps give clear light.
2.
The headlamp switch in its different positions turns
on
the proper beam.
3.
No lens is cracked or missing; rotated,
upside down,
or
wrong side out; no lens marked "left* is in "right"
position or vice versa.
4.
Lamps are securely fastned to the vehicle.
5.
Lamps have no defect in wiring which may impair their use.
6.
Headlamp beam indicator lights on the dashboard work
properly with correct beam.
Stop Light, Tail Light, Signal Lights.
see that they are in proper working order.
Check all these to
The code provides
further that all directional signal lights must be properly placed,
must function properly, and must not be obscaced.
Switch and
wiring must also be in good working order.
Reflectors.
Many states require the use of reflectors at
the rear to give warning when cars are parked without lights.
2.
Aids to Clear Vision
It has been said that seeing is the most important thing in
driving.
This emphasizes the need for clear, unobstructed vision
in front, to the sides, and to the rear.
Windshield and Windows.
The code tand the law in many states)
137
stipulates that the windshield must be clear of posters,
or other non-transparent materials;
free from breaks,
discoloration that may impair the driver's vision.
stickers
cracks or
The only thing
permitted on the windshield is the vehicle inspection certificate
if required in a state or city.
The code requires that the window to the driver's left must
be easy to open.
Any distortion, wave,
or marring of the windshield likely to
obstruct the view or cause the driver to misjudge objects or
distance is reason for rejection of the vehicle at man y inspection
stations.
Windshield Wiper and D e f r o s t e r .
Under the code a vehicle is
not considered safe unless:
1.
The windshield wiper (or each wiper,
if two are used)
is in good working condition and gives the driver a
clear view ahead.
2.
The sleet remover or defroster,
operating condition.
if one is used, is in
It must not interfere with control
of the car or be a fire hazard.
Mirrors.
In order to comply witfci the safety standards of the
code the rear-view mirror must:
1.
Hot be broken, tarnished or so deteriorated that it has
little reflecting value.
2.
Be securely fastened so that it will not turn out of
place from car vibration.
3.
Be adjusted to give the best possible view to the rear,
(it is important, before starting out, to adjust the
mirror to the driver's seat position).
138
3.
Brakes and Their Use
The code does not at present include safety standards for
brakes, as studies and tests are still in progress.
However,
it
offers as a guide the brake requirements of Hew Jersey, Pennsyl­
vania, and Memphis, Tennessee,
upon which the following points
are based.
Stopping distance.
Passenger cars should be able to stop
in 30 feet from a speed of 20 miles an hour,
and trucks and buses
in 45 feet from the same speed.
The emergency brake should stop any type of vehicle in 55
feet from a 20-mile-an-hour speed.
A loose hand-brake is cause for rejecting the vehicle at
many inspection stations.
When to Check Brakes.
The following are specific suggestions
as to when brakes need attention:
1.
W hen the brake pedal goes down to about one and one-half
inches from the floor.
The Department of Vehicles and
Traffic of Washington, D. C., describes a way to check
pedal reserve on passenger cars:
"Place left foot under
brake pedal and step down on the pedal with the right
foot.
If you pinch your toes,
pedal reserve is too small."1
If the brake pedal goes way down soon after fluid
is added to hydraulic brakes, there may be a leak in the
line or other defect in the brake system.
1.
Government of the District of Columbia, Motor Vehicle Safety
Inspection, 1940 Inspection M a n u a l , p. 72.
Issued b y
Department of Vehicles St Traffic.’
139
2.
When brakes squeak,
indicating worn lining.
3.
When the car tends to lurch to one side when brakes
are applied.
4.
Whe n brakes lock or grab the wheels.
Testing the B r a k e s .
tested in several wayss
The code indicates that brakes may be
b y special machinery or a decelerometer,
by skid marks on the road surface,
or simply b y personal judgment.
For practical purposes a driver can test the effectiveness
of his brakes by pacing off 30 feet from a line or post and, ap­
proaching at 20 miles an hour, making a hard application of the
foot pedal.
A hard, dry,
level roadway, with no traffic and free
from gravel or other loose material,
should be selected.
To test for leakage in the hydraulic brake system, hold the
brake pedal depressed for about one minute.
If the pedal sags,
leakage of the fluid is indicated.
4.
Tires
Between 500 and 600 persons are killed each year and 8,000
to 10,000 are injured in accidents resulting from tire punctures
or blowouts,
it is estimated.^-
M any others are the victims of
skilding aocidents in which smooth, worn tires may have figured.
Unsafe T i r e s .
The code considers the following tires unsafe
and cause for rejection of the vehicle;
1.
Tires with
Tread so worn that the first outer body ply of cords is
exposed;
2.
Bulges resulting from temporary repairs made b y use of
blowout patches or boots;
1.
Travelers Insurance Company, Here Today— Gone Tomorrow,
1940.
140
3.
Tread cuts or snags longer than one inch and deep enough
to expose the body cords;
4.
B o dy cords damaged by side-wall scuff, cuts or snags.
Under-inflated tires make steering harder and the car less
stable.
Under-inflation of tire pressure below that recommended
by the manufacturer may damage the casing or side-walls of the
tires.
Over-inflat ion, on the other hand, besides making for rougher
riding, may lessen traction,
and in many cases make it easier to
skid.
Correct tire pressure is also important for even braking,
especially under conditions that might produce a 3kid.
Tires with tread worn smooth naturally do not grip wet or
icy pavements as well as tires with good tread.
Uneven or "scalloped" wear of the tread on a front tire may
indicate that the wheel is out of alignment
Regrooved T i r e s .
(see below/.
In Washington, D. C., regrooved tires on
vehicles presented for inspection are very carefully checked, and
if the fabric has been cut into, the vehicle is rejected as unsafe.
Some used-car dealers make a practice of regrooving tires,
to make them look newer.1.
Officials of the Tire Manufacturers
Association maintain that regrooved tires are never as reliable
as new tires or tires with sufficient tread above the fabric.
Tire C h a i n s .
Tire chains are required equipment for all
vehicles in interstate commerce under the regulations of the
1.
In New York State attempts have been made to require used-car
dealers to specify when they have placed regrooved tires on
oars offered for sale, but so far as the writer has been
able to discover no legislative action has been taken.
141
Interstate Commerce Commission.
Complete chains are held more helpful than single straps or
units.
The National Safety C o u n c i l ’s Committee on Winter Driving
Hazards (which includes several public officials},
found that
"unit emergency chains, while adequate for getting out of snow
drifts and for getting under way on very slippery road surfaces,
are of no value on curves and of relatively little value for
stopping;
complete chains are therefore preferable from the
standpoint of safety."1
5.
Steering and Wheel Alignment
Excessive play in the steering-wheel; wobble or shimmy of
the front wheels, and unusual drag or binding of the steering
gear when turning are all causes for rejection at inspection
stations in some states and cities.
Misaligned wheels are especially dangerous at high speed,
and particularly in rounding curves,
for they tend to throw the
car out of control.
The Uniform Inspection C o d e ’s safety requirements for steering
and wheel alignment may be summarized as follows:
1.
N o free play exceeding three inches in steering-wheels
up to 18 inches in diameter,
or four inches in larger
steering-wheels.
2.
Pull right to full left turn of steering-wheel without
jamming.
3.
No side-slip or scuff exceeding thirty feet per mile in
front wheels.
Winter Driving H a z a r d s , 1939 Committee Report,
p. 5.
142
4.
No excessive shake in wheels.
5.
No bent rear axle,
or rear wheels improperly mounted or
misaligned.
6.
Miscellaneous Equipment
Most official motor vehicle inspections include a check-up
of registration plates, horn, body fittings,
other equipment.
exhaust line and
A vehicle meets the safety specifications of
the code if:
Registration plates are correctly placed,
unmutilated,
clean,
and clearly visible.
Door latches really lock and will not let doors accidentally
swing open.
Horn is securely fastened,
audible for at least 200 feet, not
unreasonably loud or harsh.
Light switches work properly, wiring is of adequate capacity
and does not present a fire hazard,
and fuses or circuit-breakers
give adequate protection.
There are no dangerous projections, such as bumpers out of
place,
loose running board, bent or torn fenders.
The exhaust system, from manifold through muffler to tail
pipe, has no leak through which deadly carbon monoxide m a y escape.
Dense smoke pouring out of the exhaust is cause for vehicle
rejection in some states and cities.
A~*aeriously damaged muffler
or tail pipe also is cause for rejection.
Fuel tank and fuel line are properly installed.
leaking at gas tank or carburetor,
or rear end,
Excessive
or at crankcase, transmission
is reason for rejection of vehicle in some states.
* si-
CHAPTER VI
THE STREET OR HIGHWAY AS A PACTOR IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
This chapter will consider the part played in the production
of traffic accidents by the street or highway,
contributory factor.
at least as a
This will involve discussion of the m e ­
chanical controls of the roadway facility— i. e.,
signals,
islands,
pavement markings,
of signs,
etc.,--and the development
of methods intended to provide safer movement of vehicles.
It will involve also consideration of the design of the
roadway facility, having in mind such characteristics as sharp
or unbanked curves,
inadequate sight distances along the road
for the motorist or the pedestrian,
hazardous points,
lack of guard-rails at
poor illumination for night driving, and other
features of highway construction or layout as may tend to increase
accident possibilities.
Highway Condition and Accidents
The National Safety Council has defined a safe highway as
"one in which there are no high accident locations or sections"
and "one at no point of which there is a significant accident
pattern which indicates some distinguishable type of accident
proneness.
!•
Engineering for Traffic S a f e t y , p. 27.
|
A
i!
■i
■5
4
144
The shortcomings of muc h of the present highway mileage
are readily admitted:
There is a substantial mileage of road pavement still
in use that was built twenty-five years ago or longer,
serving today kinds of vehicles that were undreamed of when
they were built.
Small wonder if such pavements, designed
to be used b y vehicles capable of a top speed of 30 miles
and less an hour, are found somewhat inadequate for the
service of vehicles that may be, and are frequently driven
at speeds above 60 miles an hour.
The fact that man y poorly designed roads are crowded with
traffic also contributes to their inadequacy for modern needs.
That physical conditions of the highway contribute to a
large proportion of mishaps is being increasingly realized by
road designers as they make more careful and detailed studies
of highway accident reports.
The Problem Committee on Analysis
of Accident Data of the American Hoad Builders' Association
(numbering among its membership highway officials of m a n y of
the states)
in its 1940 report declares that the road m a y be a
2
contributing factor in about 20 per cent of the accidents.
Pointing out that accident studies can serve as a guide to
necessary corrections of roadway deficiencies,
the committee
found that a large number of mishaps occur as a result of sharp
curves,
improper superelevation ^banking)
of curves, dips,
slip­
pery pavements, narrow bridges, rough surfaces, and intersections.
Slippery pavement, according to accident records,
accidents than any other pavement condition.
leadB to more
B a d alignments also
1.
United States Public Roads Administration, Toll Roads and
Pree R o a d s , p. 105.
2.
American Road Builders' Association Bul l e t in No. 66, p. 4.
145
are responsible for a great number of mishaps.'*'
The report describes eleven examples showing how, on the
basis of thorough studies of high accident frequency locations,
the highway designer and road builder can effect substantial
remedies,
often at small cost.
Among the treatments are included:
(l) realignment of old winding roads,
and local traffic,
curves,
(2) segregation of through
(3) channelization at intersections and at
(4) modernization of traffic lights,
(5) separation b y
underpass of highway-railroad grade crossings,
guard-rails on curves,
strips,
(6) provision of
(7) separation of opposing lanes b y medial
(8) roughening of surface to remove slipperiness,
widening of bridges,
^9)
and (10) construction of sidewalks along
rural highways.
Among conclusions drawn by the committee are:
The roadway is not normally credited with its proper
share of causal accident factors.
In many more mishaps
than is generally believed to be the case, the roadway is
quite likely to be a contributing factor.
Accidents alone justify many extensive highway improve­
ments .
Highway research should be directed as indicated by
accident records.
Motor vehicle accident reports provide information
essential to the complete and logical redesign of roadways
now inducive to accidents, and more complete records are
advocated.
Lacking adequate diagnosis, choice of a proper
treatment occurs only b y chance.
State highway departments and other road building
agencies are urged to use accident data more extensively
„
in determining design, construction, and maintenance policies.
1.
I b i d ., pp. 3, 7.
2.
Ibidi, p. 16.
146
On the basis of state reports analyzed b y the National
Safety Council, a highway defect was indicated in 6 per cent of
fatal accidents in 1939.
"These reported defects usually relate
to a specific flaw in the roadway itself," it is added.
a broader viewpoint,
"Prom
it is certain that many highways are not
yet as safe as they could be made."'*'
The following table shows the relation of highway character­
istics to accidents during 1939.
TABLE IV2
Highway Characteristics,
1939 Fatal Traffic Accidents
Character of Roadway
^ of
Accidents
(Horizontal)
Straight r o a d ..................... 83
Slight curve ...................... 10
Sharp curve .......................
6
Winding r o a d ......................
1
(Vertical)
On level r o a d ..............
82
On grade
..........
16
At hillcrest ......................
2
Surface Condition
D r y ............................... 83
Wet ............................... 13
Muddy
..........
Less than
Snowy .............................
1
I c y ................................
3
Road Defects
1
Under construction or repair ....
Obstruction not l i g h t e d .......... Less than %%
Foreign material on surface ......
2
Poor s h o u l d e r s
............ Less than
Poor surface .............
2
No defects ........................ 94
1.
2.
Accident Facts 194 0 , p. '37.
Based on Accident Facts 1940,
p. 93.
147
Mechanical Gontrola
Signs, markings,
control of traffic.
signals and islands are the tools for the
Properly placed traffic control devices can
do muc h to compensate for highway defects,
at least until it is
found economically feasible to bring roadways up to safety stan­
dards.
Even then,
it ma y be argued,
such devices can do m uch to
complement the safety features of a highway.
The standards for the installation and use of all traffic
control devices are contained in the Ma n u a l on Uni form Traffic
Control Devices for Streets and H i g h w a y s , to which allusion has
been made and which the reader should consult for detailed par­
ticulars.
The observations that follow are intended to present
some recent developments in the advancing art of using traffic
control .devices to maximum advantage in the interest of traffic
movement and safety.
Signs
It is probable that as motoring speeds have risen the aver­
age motorist has come to depend to an increasing degree upon signs
for guidance and protection.
Higher speed also has tended to demand larger and more legible
signs.
A study b y the American Automobile Association found much
criticism by motorists of the present system of route numbering;
of poor marking of detours;
of infrequency of route signs and
confusing commercial lights in cities; and of signs generally too
close to intersections.1'
1.
"Reform is Sought in Highway Signs,* New York Times, M a y 8,
1938, p. 33.
148
Signs and Accidents
A study by the Michigan Highway Planning Survey demonstrated
that increasing the size of Stop signs reduced the number of Stop
sign violations by from 50 to 75 per cent.
In view of the fact
that 25 per cent of fatal accidents on trunk-lines in Michigan
during three recent years were right-angle collisions at inter­
sections,
it is held that larger Stop signs and other signs appear
desirable in the interest of accident prevention.1
Other states also have experimented with the use of oversize
signs at hazardous locations, with favorable results, Van Wagoner
adds.
In some cases the signs are not only greatly increased in
the size of background and lettering but varied from the national
standards to create novelty.
Whether it is the novelty or the
size that holds the attention of the motorist,
and how long such
unusual features retain their power to inspire observance, are
open questions.
Hew Signs Developed
A new code of uniform sign markings under development in
Michigan embodies the following features:
1.
1.
Stop signs twice as large as those in general use.
2.
Turn markers indicating four stages of abruptness
in curves, the direction of the curve, and
optimum "safe" speed.
3.
Larger route markers, placed higher above the
pavement in cities, so that parked automobiles will
not hide them.
4.
Mileage and direction posts facing approaching
Murray D. Van Wagoner, "Larger Stop Signs."
Highway
Researoh Abstracts, No. 53, September 1938, p. 10.
|
S
I
-•}
I
149
traffic, so that motorists may obtain information
without stopping or slowing up at intersections.
5.
Fewer pavement markings, placed only where limited
visibility makes average speeds unsafe.1
SignB on Pennsylvania Turnpike
It is significant that the standard signs in general use
were considered inadequate for the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The
high speeds anticipated, the tunnel and interchange approaches,
and the presence of toll booths necessitated new studies to
determine correct sizes for practical application.
This called
for observation of maximum and mini m u m legibility of signs in
relation to height and width of letters, reflectorization and
illuminstion of signs.
The studies,
on which the Yale Univer­
sity Bureau for Street Traffic Research cooperated with the Penn­
sylvania Turnpike Commission,
showed definitely the need for
improvement of highway signs, especially of destination signs
for modern high speeds.
1.
The investigators found:
1.
That wider letters on signs are more easily read
than narrow letters, but both widths lose approx­
imately 15 per cent of their legibility distance
under night conditions (floodlighted).
2.
That it is advantageous to floodlight signs at
a n y location where a lighted background is
encountered.
3.
That reflectors reduce the daytime legibility of
the letters only in the larger sizes, and the
reflectorized letters are as effective as the
floodlighted ones at night against a dark back­
ground.
4.
That if a sign is to give the 50-mile-an-hour
motorist ten seconds warning, lettering of the wide
type at least ten inches in height is needed at
night.
Van Wagoner, "Michigan to Install New Uniform Sign Plan."
Better R o a d s , August 1939.
150
5.
That in setting standards for signs the poor
vision of many drivers known to he on the high­
ways must be taken into account.1
Recognizing the need for giving the motorist full warning
of a change in alignment or the approach to a tunnel or inter­
change— particularly under restricted night visibility— most of
the signs on the Turnpike were designed on the basis of the legi­
bility distance best suited for night driving.
Approaching tunnels,
the motorist receives a first warning
one mile in advance of the tunnel portal and a second warning onehalf mile from it.
Although the Turnpike contains no curve ex­
ceeding six degrees, all curves of one or more degrees of curva­
ture are posted by varying the angle and size of the curve symbol.
Every curve sign is visible at distances ranging from 2,000 feet
to one-half mile,
and all such signs are placed at a uniform
distance in advance of the curve.
2
A method for rating the effectiveness of various types of
highway warning signs by use of the Luckiesh-Moss visibility meter
has been developed.
ematically expressed,
impressions.
This permits quantitative measurements, m a t h ­
in place of ratings based largely on personal
3
Marking b
The need for marking highway pavements by inserts or painting
stripes to delineate traffic lanes has long been recognized by
TI
2.
3.
T. W. tforbes and Robert 3. Holmes, Legibility Distance of H igh­
w a y Destination Signs in Relation to Letter H e i g h t , Letter Width
and R e fleetorization. Paper presented at annual meeting, Hig h ­
way Research Board, Washington, D. C., December 5-8, 1939.
Highway Builders, May 1940, pp. 13-15.
Oivil E n g i n e e r i n g , April 1940, pp. 225-226.
151
states.1
Today the methods of installation and maintenance of
such markings, as every driver can see, are unorthodox or in­
effectual in man y sections.
Nowhere is this confusion more apparent than in the methods
of marking and posting no-passing zones on hills and curves
where, because of diminished sight distance,
overtake and pass.
it is unsafe to
No-passing zones are discussed below, but it
may be appropriate to point here to new provisions for no-passing
markings contained in the February 1939 Revisions to the Manual on
Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and H i g h w a y s .
Parti-
cularly important is the statement in the new section (204.1):
In such markings it should be noted that the purpose
is to prevent overtaking and passing wherever the clear
view ahead is inadequate for safe passing without being
unduly restrictive when the danger zone is passed.
There­
fore in each direction approaching a hillcrest the aux­
iliary marking should begin a consierable distance below
the hillcrest but terminate .just beyond it.
The same
principle will often aoply at curves and other points of
hazard.2
There are indications, as learned from travel in all New
England and some other states in recent years,
of extended use
of stop lines to show the precise spot where the motorist should
stop.
The stopping point of the motorist is important to the
pedestrian; also it ma y control the visibility of the stopped
car to cars approaching from other thoroughfares.
Signals
A traffic control signal is a timing mechanism which has been
1.
2*
The use of colored concrete for marking traffic lines, marginal
strips, and other road surfaces to diminish glare is extend­
ing.
See Highway Research Abstracts, M a y 1939 and October 1937.
Rev i s i o n s , p. 11.
See also pp. 10-13.
152
found more economical and often more effective than a police
officer in directing traffic,
especially at intersections.
The
service of the traffic signal largely removes the element of
decision from the motorist;
it tells him, through separate and
distinct colors, when to go and when to stop.
The applications
of signals to various traffic situations are recognized in the
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control D evices for Streets and Hig h ­
ways.
One shortcoming of the ordinary traffic signal--the useless
stopping of traffic on one thoroughfare while no traffic approach­
es from the cross street— m a y be removed by the introduction of
traffic-actuated signals.
approach the intersection.
These turn green or red as vehicles
At special locations pedestrian-
actuated signals are installed for the convenience and protection
of walkers,
especially school children.
To reduce the possibility
of collisions resulting from left turns against traffic,
turning arrows are used.
special
Conflicts with pedestrians b y vehicles
turning right and left may be lessened b y the use of traffic
islands (see below)
or,
under heavy pedestrian movement, by
complete separation of foot and vehicular traffic.
In general, as the Manual points out, traffic signals work
best where volumes are reasonably heavy.
They are particularly
valuable in reducing right-angle collisions as well as pedestrian
accidents; but they are not so successful at reducing turning
accidents.
vehicles,
Signals are used effectively to control the speed of
if the signals are staggered.
cited above indicate,
not readily legible*
As the Michigan studies
traffic signals are dangerous if they are
153
To help the color-blind motorist and pedestrian a bluetinted green is used in New York and other cities.
Islands
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets
and Highways recognizes two general types of islands;
zones, and (2) traffic islands.
islands,
(l) safety
Safety zones include (a) loading
for protection of pedestrians at street-car and bus
loading points, and (b) pedestrian islands.
The latter are used
especially in cities and at wide intersections "where there is a
considerable amount of pedestrian traffic and where heavy volumes
of vehicular traffic make it difficult and dangerous for pedes­
trians to c r o s s . S a f e t y zones were discussed in connection with
pedestrian safety.
Traffic islands include (a) divisional,
(c) rotary islands.
Design, Location,
lb) channelizing,
and
Divisional islands are discussed under Highway
and Control, below.
A general observation on all
types of islands may be made here.
While different types of islands serve specific functions,
it
must not be overlooked that one type of island may be of value in
several ways.
Thus a loading island may also (l) help the pedes­
trian in crossing the street,
(2) expedite the traffic flow by
permitting other traffic to move while street-cars or buses are
stopped to load or unload, and (3) act as a divisional island to
separate opposite streams of traffic.
1.
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and
H i g h w a y s , pp. 102-103.
154
Channelizing Islands
Until a few years ago the favorite way to increase traffic
capacity was to widen the roadway or street— the wider the better!
As every driver can testify,
the result in many cases,
particu­
larly at large intersections and plazas, was that motorists wan­
dered about, their movements became irregular, and each operator
had difficulty in guessing what the other was going to do.
This led to the principle of channelizing or canalizing
traffic by means of abutments in the middle or along the sides of
the roadway, with the object of guiding the motorist and at the
same time preventing h i m physically from making wrong turns.
Today
examples of channelizing islands m a y be seen in many citiess
Boston, New Haven, Milwaukee,
Drive,
Chicago, New York (East River
for example).
Guy Kelcey,
traffic engineer of New Jersey, whose extensive
researches have greatly advanced the principles and techniques of
channelizing traffic, defines channelization thus:
Channelization refers to means by which traffic ma y be
made self-regulating and orderly. . . . Channelization,
which is concerned primarily with problems of the pavement
surface and above the surface, establishes proper lanes
within which movements of vehicles are confined.
It in­
creases the utility and safety of automobile transport by
simplifying traffic flow and b y eliminating confusions,
conflicts, and eddy currents.
It takes advantage of the
high degree of skill and instinctive driving capacity
possessed by a vast majority of drivers and does much to
neutralize the unsatisfactory performances of a few drivers
who may not drive properly, either occasionally or habit­
ually.
Finally, it invites and encourages good driving
manners, bad ones being quite often more an evidence of
confusion or desperation than of poor sportsmanship.1
1.
"Channelization of Motor Traffic."
American Society of Civil
Engineers, Proceedings, December 1939. Reprinted, wit h dis­
cussions, in Texas Highway Department Information E x c h a n g e ,
June 1940.
See also the March, April, and" May 1§’40 issues
Of the Proceedings for discussions of K e l c e y 1s article.
155
Examples of the use of channelizing islands to reduce
accidents are given under Treating Dangerous Locations in Urban
Areas, below, and in the Appendix.
Rotary Islands
When a highway carrying heavy traffic intersects another,
also with heavy traffic, at grade,
provision is made to reduce
the possibilities of congestion and collisions at the crossing.
The installation of a traffic circle,
lands,
or a system of rotary is­
is one way of accomplishing this.
The design of such is­
lands is somewhat complex and varies to fit each intersection.
An important point from the driver's standpoint
is that the
turning radius about the islands should be sufficient to permit
the necessary weaving of the various traffic streams.1
Treating Dangerous Locations in Urban Areas
The traffic engineer uses signs,
signals, markings and
islands to correct accident-breeding situations.
The application
of traffic engineering methods to the correction of accident
locations in rural areas involves primarily questions of highway
design, which will be discussed in the section entitled Highway
Design, Location and Control.
The present discussion will deal
with traffic engineering techniques for preventing accidents in
urban areas.
The examples to be cited will indicate how,
often
at trifling cost, traffic engineering methods greatly reduce or
eliminate mishaps.
1.
Eor application, location, design and specifications of
rotary traffic islands see Manual on Uniform Traffic
Control Devices, especially Sections 426, 433, 436, 440.
156
The first example1 involves a hedge.
Pedestrians were
heing struct by motor vehicles with alarming regularity at a
street corner in the residential section of an unnamed American
town.
Investigation of accidents at that corner revealed that
motorists did not see pedestrians or other cars in time to stop.
It became clear that a tall hedge was shutting off the view to
walkers and motorists.
A request to the property owner from the
city traffic engineer resulted in the removal of the hedge,
for
which was substituted an open fence that permitted people to see
around the corner.
For a year the corner was watched for a c c i ­
dents but failed to produce a single serious mishap.
The case is typical of what has taken place in numerous
cities and towns.
It illustrates in a simple way the traffic
engineering approach as contrasted with the educational or the
enforcement approach. The point is stated thus:
Probably, the same results could have been achieved
by placing a traffic officer at that corner to warn motor­
ists and pedestrians; but that would call for three men on
eight-hour shifts, which at an average of $1,800 a year
would mean a cost to the city of $5,400 to guard a single
intersection!
Or education might have been brought in to stop the
mishaps.
But you would have to reach every citizen, young
or old, motorist or pedestrian, instruct hi m and caution
h i m about the danger at that corner.
And even then he
might forget the hedge was there, and get hit in trying
to cross.2
The following example involves the correction of an acci­
dent location at the cost of $15.
1.
2.
A curve in North Vine Street,
Based on "They Cure Traffic Ills, b y this writer in 1940
Highway Safety Digest, pp.43-46.
I b i d .» p. 43.
157
Magnolia, Arkansas, had led in 1938 to thirteen serious night
accidents at that point.
Upon investigation the traffic engineer
discovered that the curve mas not readily visible to motorists.
Standard guard-posts with reflectors were installed to show the
change in alignment of the street.
A reflectorized curve sign,
warning motorists to slow down to 30 miles an hour, was placed
ahead of the curve.
A guide stripe to keep drivers to the right
was painted on Vine Street.
For more than a year after install­
ation of these improvements in January 1939 there were no reportable accidents at that corner.
Figure II,
from the National Conservation Bureau's Getting
Results Througn Traffic E n g i n e e r i n g , shows in detail how this
accident location was corrected.
The use of Stop signs to prevent accidents is illustrated
in another case taken from the same source.
in Philadelphia,
1938.
At an intersection
fifteen accidents had occurred between 1936 and
After studying all the factors involved, the traffic en­
gineer erected Stop signs on one street to favor the movement of
traffic on the other street.
negligible.
The cost of this improvement was
A year after the Stop signs were installed no acci­
dent had been reported.
Figure III, again from Getting Results Through Traffic
E n g i n e e r i n g , exemplifies the use of channelizing islands for
safety.
The intersection of Fourteenth and Chestnut Streets in
St. Louis, Missouri, had the second highest accident frequency
in the city.
Investigation showed that the large open are a made
turning movements haphazard and confusing to motorists proceeding
i5a
CORRECTING ACCIDENT PRONE LOCATION—TOTAL COST $15
PROBLEM:
A curve in North Vine Street, a trunk line highway through Magnolia, Arkansas, creates the offset indicated
below at the intersection with Sixth Street.
\ BEFORE
AFTER
jr.
lead
NO
13 ACCIDENTS
ACCIDENTS
ACCIDENT FACTS:
In 1938 there were 13 serious after-dark accidents at this point, all involving heavily loaded trucks. There were
also several minor accidents involving lighter vehicles. In all cases the vehicles hit the curb at the offset, and in some
instances overturned in the yard included in the offset. A ll the vehicles were north bound. There was one death,
several persons were injured, and there was considerable property damage.
FIELD STUDIES:
A volume count showed that the traffic flow was approximately equal in both directions on Vine Street and
negligible on Sixth Street. The offset was not visible to north bound traffic until within about 300 feet of same due to
a 2.5 % down grade. Most of the drivers involved were not familiar with the location and therefore did not detect the
change in alignment until nearly upon same. Speeds were fairly high, as the point is near the city limits.
SOLUTION:
Standard reflectorized guard posts were installed at the offset as indicated. A reflectorized curve sign was in­
stalled just south of the crest of the grade and the curve zoned for a speed of 30 miles per hour. A four-inch black
guide stripe was painted on Vine Street as shown. The total cost of the installation was approximately $15.
CHECK BACK:
Since installation of the above improvements in January, 1939, there have been no reportable accidents.
Issued By
Example Contributed By
Traffic Division,
Harvey D. Booth, Supervisor,
National Conservation Bureau,
Traffic 8C. Safety Division
Arkansas State Highway Department
60 John Street, New Y a k , N . Y.
Little Rode, Arkansas.
FIGURE II
Engineering Correction of a Dangerous Curve
159
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 4 — CHANNELIZING FOR SAFETY
PROBLEM — The intersection of Fourteenth and Chestnut Streets, St. Louis, Missouri, had the second highest accident frequency
of all intersections within the City of St. Louis during the year 1937, and was continuing in approximately the same proportion
for the first six months of 1938. The intersection consists of a seventy foot and a seventy-six foot roadway offset in two directions
approximately ten feet. The large free area created a plaza effect.
AFTER
CHESTNUT
C O LLISIO N
DIAGRAM
C O N D ITIO N
STREET
DIAGRAM
NO ACCIDENTS
ACCIDENT FACTS — Twenty-two accidents occurred at this intersection between January 1, 1937 and July 28, 1938. Eight of
the twenty-two accidents were injury accidents in which eleven persons were injured. Tw o of the injury accidents also involved
pedestrians. The collision diagram shows the location and the types of these accidents.
FIELD STUDIES — A study of the volume showed that more than 22,000 vehicles moved through this intersection during a
twenty-four hour period. TTie greater part of this traffic moved in an east and west direction on Chestnut Street with a large
volume of all traffic making left turns. The approach of these motorists contemplating turning movements was haphazard, result­
ing in confusion to other motorists already in or approaching the intersection.
SOLUTION — The large free area of this intersection was eliminated by the construction of four combination channelizing and
pedestrian safety zones. Each zone was indicated by traffic buttons and white paint lines. See sketch below for design details.
T he channelization greatly reduced the haphazard driving and conflict between opposing streams of traffic in addition to giving the
pedestrian, using this intersection, a mid-point to stand while changing his direction of observation. The cost of the improvement
was approximately S1J9.00, including all labor and material used. The maintenance of the white channelizing lines is of small
consequence. Inspection indicates that it will not be necessary' to repaint these lines more than once each year. This inspection
also indicated that it will require approximately three paintings per y® r to properly define the pedestrian crosswalks.
CHECK BACK N o accidents were reported in the nine months following the improvement. Estimating the cost of the
twenty-two accidents for the previous nineteen months at S7500 it can readily be seen that the net saving during the first nine
months tpty be estimated at $3400.
_
FIGURE III
Traffic Islands Effect Accident Re d u c t i o n
160
straight ahead.
The large free area of this intersection was
reduced by the construction of four combination channelizing
islands and pedestrian safety zones.
ment was $159,
The cost of this improve­
including all labor and material used.
No acci­
dents were reported in the nine months following the alteration.
Other examples of traffic engineering applications for
reducing accidents are given in the Appendix.
Highway D e s i g n , L o c a t i o n , and Control
As motor vehicles increased in power and speed, the differ­
ence between the potential speed of the automobile and the speed
which could be safely maintained on most highways became acute.
Highway builders gradually provided smooth,
level ribbons of pave­
ment with easier curves and hills, giving the motorist opportunity
more fully to utilize his motor vehicle.
Public education was and is one method used to caution drivers
against high speed, at least under unfavorable road and weather
conditions.
In posters,
pamphlets, and talks the motorist has been
told of the danger of over-driving his headlights and of centrifugal
force in rounding curves.
Enforcement methods, too, were and are employed to compensate
for deficiencies in road design; or, as the captious might put it,
for deficiencies of the human machine, which apparently insists
upon driving too fast for existing conditions.
Despite the efforts of education and enforcement, however,
the feeling began to find expression among qualified traffic men
that the roadway was not keeping pace, as it were, with (l) the
wishes of many drivers to get about expeditiously, and (2) the
161
potentialities of the motor vehicle in providing rapid movement.
This lack of adjustment was recognized by Federal highway
experts when,
in 1936, through the Bureau of Public Roads, they
initiated a nation-wide program of highway modernization in coop­
eration with the state highway departments.
The basic goal of
this program m a y be stated to be the bridging or narrowing of the
gap between the capabilities of the car and its safe mobility
over the great bulk of present facilities.
The program included
such improvements as new non-skid surfaces,
straighter alignment
and easier grades, wider and stronger surfaces and shoulders,
elimination of bottlenecks,
and
grade crossings, and other highway
hazards.
Developments in Design
It is apparent,
ject and,
from a study of the literature on the sub­
perhaps more important,
in various parts of the country,
of the new roadways being built
that modern highway design is
tending toward the provision of physical safeguards and other
features to eliminate or diminish potential conflicts between
vehicles.
(See discussion of Super-highways below).
appears to be to make the roadway "automatic"
The aim
in the sense of
rendering it virtually impossible for the driver to make erro­
neous decisions,
or,
failing that, to provide physical protection
to reduce the severity of the consequences of an error.
That the highway designer has been giving attention to
improvement of the roadway to meet changed demands is evidenced
by the principles and methods of design developed over the past
few yearss
162
For traffic in volume, the engineer now has designed
traffic circles and clover-leaf intersections.
He has built
separated traffic lanes; introduced traffic stripes and
improved them; widened the traffic lanes from nine and ten
feet to eleven feet.
Gradually he is introducing artificial
lighting at the more critical points where the costs can be
met.
There is now definite recognition of the proper relation
of so-called super-highways or freeways to other highways . ...
We are now ,in a period of transition to many new con­
cepts.
With increasing fatalities we are giving increased
attention to the elimination of railroad crossings at grade,
and even to highway intersections at grade . . . . Tunnels
to reduce grade and curvature are becoming common in the
western mountains.
We even are designing profiles to produce
less headlight glare where traffic is in volume.
We recog­
nize the limiting effect of steeper grades on truck traffic.
Smoother riding surfaces, yet with non-skid texture, are
conspicuous . . . . The use of transition curves or spirals
is established . . . .1
Important Features of Roadway Design
A number of highway design features to which road officials
and engineers have given attention in recent years are discussed
in the pages that follow.
Neither the list of features considered
nor the manner of treatment is exhaustive;
the ai m has been rather
to present high-lights of improvements in providing longer sight
distances,
safety at higher speed, better surfaces, wider lanes,
etc.
Sight Distance
As regards safety of driving, adequate sight distance or
visibility is held to be the primary function of highway design.
The standard Federal minimum safe sight distance requirement is
1,000 feet for opposing traffic;
1.
it may be reduced to 400 feet
L. I. Hewes, Deputy Chief Engineer, Public Roads Administration, Development of Highway Transportation Since 1938.
Paper presented at annual convention of American Society of
Civil Engineers, S^lt Lake City, Utah, July 20, 1938. P p . 5-7.
163
for overtaking traffic.
On this question R. E. Toms,
United States Public Roads Administration,
of the
declares:
It is becoming evident that present day highway design
must be predicated upon two sight distances, a non-passing
m inimum and a passing minimum . . . . We may expect a con­
scious effort to provide occasional sections with sufficient
clear vision for safe passing at intervals certainly not
greater than two miles apart for two-lane roads and less for
three-lane roads.
Such designs will serve to allay the irri­
tation that builds up in the minds of drivers, pocketed for
long periods behind slow-moving vehicles with inadequate
vision.1
As long as some drivers continue to drive faster than others,
providing adequate sight distances for passing and overtaking will
remain an important consideration in the design of highways.
This
is especially true of two-lane highways, wnich constitute more than
90 per cent of the highway mileage of the United States and carry
the
great bulk of traffic operation.®
A number of studies of this problem have been made,
varying techniques.
other findings,
following
Studies by Matson and Forbes showed, among
that drivers in the open country of the Midwest
and West wait,before
passing,
for longer distances of clear
vision than do motorists in Hew England,
where crooked and hilly
roads abound.^
1.
2.
3.
"Design Perfects Line and Profile," Engineering H e w s - Record,
January 13, 1938, pp. 74-75.
See Toll Roads and Free R o a d s .
See T. M. Matson and T. W. Forbes, Overtaking and Passing
Requirements as Determined from a Moving Vehicle.
Yale
University Bureau for Street Traffic Research, Research
Report, reprinted from 1938 Proceedings, Highway Research
Board.
Also the same authors' "Driver Judgments in Pass­
ing on the Highway," before the annual meeting of American
Psychological Association, OoLumbus, Ohio, September 1938,
and "Measurement of Overtaking and Passing Distances,"
1938 P r o c e e d i n g s , Institute of Traffic Engineers; and
Bruce D. Greenshields, "Distance and Time Requirements
to Overtake and Pass Cars," 1935 Proceedings, Highway
R esearch Board,
164
Design Speed
Without going into detail as to the highly controversial
question of what maximum or minimum speed a highway should he
designed for,
it may be indicated that from the standpoint
safety the design speed of a road is an important factor.
of
The
design speed is the speed at which most drivers travel over a
given section of highway.
Should any highway be designed to be safe at speeds up to
100 miles an hour,
for?
as some roads in Oregon are said to be designed
Or will an assumed design speed of 50 to 60 miles an hour,
as on the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut, be sufficient for
practical purposes?
Under what circumstances would it be justi­
fiable, economically or from the standpoint of safety, to raise
the design speed of a highway from 40 to 60 miles an hour?
Can
the average driver handle an automobile safely at 80 to 100 miles
an hour, assuming that vehicles safe for those speeds can be
developed?
These questions affect the determination of the safe
design speed of a roadway.
The highway designer,
It would take a volume to answer them.
confronted with the practical problem of
building a road, assumes the design speed for which he will build
it on the basis of "the m a x i m u m reasonably uniform speed w hich
probably will be adopted by the faster group of drivers but not,
necessarily, b y the small percentage of reckless ones."'*'
As has been suggested, the importance of design speed f r o m
1.
Joseph Barnett (Traffic Engineer, Public Roads Administration),
Highway Design for Safety," Outlines and Lectures, The
First Traffic Engineering Training School, Bureau for Street
Traffic Research, August 1937, p. 129.
165
the standpoint of the motorist lies in the proper balance of all
highway elements to produce a safe uniform speed.
Sight distances,
curves, grades, width of lane, width and condition of shoulders,
type of medial divider, and grade separations must all be closely
interrelated to avoid producing dangerous surprises.
Where re­
ductions from the normal design speed are necessary,
the transi­
tion should be as gradual as possible,
and adequately marked.^
As it is the responsibility of the traffic and the highway
engineer to provide roadways safe for the assumed speed of the
average driver,
so is it the responsibility of drivers to use
safe highways safely.
As W i l l i a m Junkin Cox, State Highway Com­
missioner of Connecticut, has pointed out, the engineer can make
roads safer for a given rate of speed than the same roads were
originally.
But the very process of making a road safe for a
given speed makes it travelable at a much higher speed; and at
the higher speed the road may be muc h less safe.
"The road user
can have more safety at the same speed or more speed with the
same safety--or still more speed with less safety.
chooses the latter."
A n d he often
2
In this connection it is significant that "as a result of
several deaths on the Pennsylvania Turnpike,
demands have been
«3
made to limit the speed of vehicles using it."
1.
Ibi d ., p. 130.
2.
"The Responsibility of the Individual," address before the
Conference on Highway Safety, Yale University, March 27, 1940.
3.
Hew York Times, March 23,
1941, Section 10, p. 3.
166
In view of fatalities on the Turnpike,
opened October 1940
and hailed as a "dream highway" w ith every element of design
supposedly making for safety,
it m a y he questioned whether both
enforcement and education will not always be necessary.
The si­
tuation points to the need for educational efforts to bring home
to drivers the folly of high speed on even the finest highway,
and for police patrols to curb reckless drivers.
Roadway Surface
A 3 motoring speeds have increased, a new demand has been
placed upon the roadway surface; namely that it have a suitable
coefficient of friction.
Slippery pavements were not particularly
hazardous at low speeds, but they are at present driving speeds.
Reports to the National Safety Council for 1939 from thirtyfive states show that 5 per cent of the vehicles involved in fatal
accidents (both urban and rural) were skidding.
Thirty-two of
these states reported 4 per cent of the vehicles in non-fatal
injury accidents had skidded.
Reports from seven states placed
at IS per cent the proportion of skidding accidents on rural high­
ways attributed to wet as distinct from icy pavement.1
One of the projects in the highway modernization programs
of states is elimination of the prolific source of highway mishaps
represented b y pavements which become slippery when wet.
A mini­
m u m coefficient of friotion is written into the specifications of
every new road construction under federal or state highway depart­
ments.
1.
A number of studies throw light upon problems of driving
Accident Facts 1940, p. 90.
167
on slippery surface.*
Highway Width**
The width of the highway is determined,
among other factors,
by the amount of traffic and the necessity for passing.
traffic becomes fairly heavy upon a two-lane road,
Whenever
passing becomes
hazardous,
impractical, and soon impossible, and the road needs to
be widened.
The three-lane road makes provision for passing, and
adds materially to the capacity of the roadway.
The limitation
on the three-lane road comes at curves and hills where passing in
bo t h directions is dangerous because of poor visibility,
and at
times of continuous demand for passing in b oth directions.
Since the efficiency and safety per lane decrease as the
number of lanes increases, because motorists weave from one lane
to another, there is some doubt as to the advisability of building
highways wider than four lanes,
except in or near large metropo­
litan areas.
Lane Width
Most states permit a maximum car width of about eight feet.
Wit h a ten-foot lane this leaves only twelve inches of clearance
1.
See R. A.. Moyer, Skidding Gharacteristics of Automobile Tires
on Surfaces and Their Relation to Highway Safety, Bulletin
120, Iow a Experimental Station, Ames.
Also Milton Harris,
"Relationship of the Roadway to Highway Traffic Safety,"
California Highways and Public W o r k s , November 1938.
2.
See "Report of Subcommittee on Highway Types and Roadside
Areas," Roadside Development, pp.32-44.
Reports at the
Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the Joint Committee on R o a d ­
side Development, Highway Research B oard and American
Association of State Highway Officials.
Highway Research
Board, Washington, D. C., January 1939.
168
on each side,
width.
or a gross of two feet between vehicles of maximum
At low speeds the amount of clearance was not so important
as it is today.
The eleven-foot traffic lane is gaining in use
over the ten-foot width in many parts of the country.
The twelve-
foot traffic lane is also becoming recognized and the trend Is
definitely in that direction.
As for shoulders, ten feet is the
common width, with eight feet the next most used width.
A definite
trend since 1936 toward the twelve-foot shoulder section is now
observed.1
Toms sees "a growing appreciation that safety is increased b y
a greater w idth of traffic lane.
Experience and observation both
indicate that a ten-foot traffic lane is no longer adequate for
modern high-speed traffic.
A basic eleven-foot traffic lane has
bee n adopted b y some states."
2
3
Making Outside Lanes Usable
Highways of four or more lanes are ineffective unless the
outside lanes are used, and unless they are made thoroughly usable
the motorist will avoid them.
On the average three-lane highway
there is a tendency for vehicles to drive just off the center,
straddling the lane lines and making it impossible for anyone to
pass in either direction.
On many four-lane highways there is
also a tendency for traffic to drive on the inside lanes, thus
necessitating passing on the right, a practice especially danger-
1.
Loc.
cit.
2.
Toms, ojo. cit.. p. 75.
3.
Information from Maxwell Halsey, Associate Director, Yale
University Bu r e a u for Street Traffic Research.
169
oub
at high speeds.
A method of keeping vehicles to the right is to paint lane
lines and have motorcycle officers enforce observance of them.
But this is an expensive procedure,
impractical in m any states
with large mileage of multi-lane roads and insufficient patrol
forces.
A great deal can be accomplished through design, b y
making it easy and natural for the motorist to follow the correct
lane.
Here are some methods in actual use:
1.
B y providing the outside lanes with smoother surface than
the central lane or lanes.
Drivers will tend to use the smoother
part of the road.
2.
B y making the two outside lanes of a four-lane highway
wider than the inner ones, on the theory that the wider lane is
more attractive to motorists.
3.
B y placing guard-rails, when needed, at a fair distance
from the traveled lane, instead of immediately adjacent to the
pavement.
This is based on the fact that motorists will not pass
close to fixed objects at high speed, but will swerve away.
Thus
if guard-rails are too close to the outside lane, the motorist will
straddle the two lanes.
4.
B y building a substantial and ample shoulder.
Unless
the shoulder is made attractive, motorists will parx with at least
one wheel on the traveled portion of the highway.
This causes
traveling cars to swerve around the parked vehicle, reducing the
effectiveness of the outside and possibly leading to accidents.
Again,
unless the shoulder is firm,
pedestrians will tend to use
the roadway, thereby discouraging motorists from using the outer
lane.
170
Signs warning drivers to use the right lane have hoth
educational and enforcement values.
Through repetition such
signs impress upon motorists that driving in the right lane is
the correct way.
They also serve to emphasize the law requiring
drivers to keep to the right; thus tending to reduce the need for
police patrol and serving as the basis for police action against
recalcitrant "road hogs."
Divided Highways
As speed on the highway increased,
moving vehicles grew more prevalent.
overtaking of slower-
Impatient motorists wishing
to pass would drive to the left of the center line in the face of
oncoming traffic.
The result was a growing number of head-on
collisions between vehicles traveling at high speed.
Physical
division of lanes or roadways for cars going in opposite direc­
tions was the solution offered by highway designers to overcome
this hazard.
Today no major highway is built without a divisional
island or medial strip^ extending longitudinally along the middle
to separate the two directions of travel.
2
In 1932 only about one-fifth of the multiple-lane projects
submitted to the United States B u r e a u of Public Roads during that
year were of the divided highway type.
In 1936 the divided hig h ­
way type had nearly doubled in relative proportion of the total
for the period.
A definite tendency is indicated toward reduced
construction of three-lane undivided highways.
As for the un­
1.
Also referred to as divisional traffic island, raised medial
strip, center strip, separator strip, park strip.
2.
Roadside D e v e l opment, pp. 32-44.
171
divided highway with four or more lanes, this type "will probably
remain in use but it is indicated that it will gradually be re­
placed by the divided highway type, which in all probability will
tend to become the dominant type of multi pie-lane highway con­
struction.
The divisional island, besides making head-on collisions
virtually impossible, affords protection for left-hand turns at
intersections,
reduces the effect of glaring headlights when the
island is planted with bushes or trees, and discourages making U
turns between intersections.
Other uses are described as follows:
la)
In a roadway of two lanes where it is desired to
prevent vehicles going in the same direction from
passing one another, as, for example, at narrow
bridges, viaducts or underpasses or on dangerous
curves.
(b)
In a roadway of six or more lanes where it is
desired to separate the slow moving local traffic
serving the abutting property along the sides from
the faster through traffic moving in the same
direction nearer the center.
(c)
In a roadway of any width where it is desired to
provide guides to traffic approaching a fixed
obstruction, such as a bridge support or a safety
zone.
(d)
In a roadway at the ends of tunnels or bridges or
where traffic is regularly stopped for toll or
inspection purposes.2
1.
L o c .c i t .
2.
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control D e v i c e s , Revis i o n s, Section
424, pp. 23-24.
3ee Sections 433, 437, 438 for shape, di­
mensions, specifications, and location of divisional islands.
172
Under (a) above may also be included the use of medial
strips at hillcrests with short sight distance, thus physically
preventing the motorist from driving on the wrong side of the
road.
This use is much in evidence,
for instance,
on the W o r ­
cester Turnpike in Massachusetts.
Effect of Medial Divider on Accidents
Experience has shown that the divided type of highway, besides
curtailing head-on collisions,
favorably affects b oth the number
and severity of other types of accidents.^-
The accident reduction
on Route 26 in New Jersey following its division was far greater
than that for the entire state, Vey points out.
He also notes
that with the exception of right-angle collisions,
accidents of
all types decreased along this section of highway after conversion
to the divided type.
"The saving in accident costs resulting from
conversion to a divided highway will pay the total construction
cost,
plus 6^ interest charges,
in slightly over three years," he
adds.^
One-Way Roadways
Closely allied to the physically divided highway is that which
provides two roadways,
one each for traffic in each direction.
The
four- or six-lane divided highway is in reality two one-way road­
ways, as is also the traffic cirele.
One-way rfladways ma y be
accomplished through police regulation (i. e., streets marked
"One-Way")
or through design.
Examples of the latter are found
along some sections of the B r o n x River Parkway in Westchester
1.
2«
See Arnold H. Vey, "Elimination of Head-on Collisions on New
Jersey Highways."
Institute of Traffic Engineers 1939
Proceedings, pp. 19-21.
I bid.. p. 21.
173
County, New York, and the Grand Central Parkway and Northern State
Parkway in Long Island.
Frequently today, when a two-lane highway
needs to be widened to carry increased traffic, the highway en­
gineer elects to improve the surface of the existing road and use
it as a one-way highway, building a new two-lane road to be used
one-way in the opposite direction.
One-way streets are also used
effectively to lead traffic away from complex intersections by
creating what would amount to two separate intersections.
The one­
way principle is also used to advantage on streets too narrow to
permit two-way movement.
Grade Separation
The separation of grades removes conflicting movements at
intersections,
and hence tends to reduce accidents.
One difficulty
of m a n y grade separations is that the motorist approaching one and
wishing to turn is faced with several decisions simultaneously.
A
way to avoid this is to have the points of entrance and exit as
widely separated as practicable, a n d to so design the exits as to
make it impossible for a driver to enter them.
There is consider­
able demand for a new system of signs to make turning movements at
highway grade separations more explicit.
One suggestion is to
place a diagrammatic billboard sign well in advance of approaches,
using directional signs only at exits.
o
Accelerating and Decelerating Lanes
At intersection points, at service stations,
parking areas,
approaches to roadside parks, and other points along b u s y highways,
1.
2.
Based on Maxwell Halsey, Traffic Accidents and Congestion,
Yale University Bur e a u for Street Traffic Research, 1940.
Loc. cit.
1?4
conflicts and accidents are likely to occur if vehicles are
permitted to enter or leave the traffic stream at a speed lower
than the general speed of the main traffic flow*
Engineers have
sought to obviate this by providing accelerating and decelerating
lanes at essential entrance and exit points.
These lanes give the
motorist opportunity to slow down when leaving the highway or speed
up when entering it without
traffic.
unduly interfering with the flow of
The length of accelerating and decelerating lanes is
determined primarily b y the speed prevailing on the highway.
higher the speed, the longer the lane must be.
The
In many cases
accelerating and decelerating lanes are so short that they do not
induce the motorist to take advantage of them.
Where speeds of
50 or 60 miles an hour prevail it is held that accelerating and
decelerating lanes should be at least 1,000 feet in length.
Ac­
celerating and decelerating lanes 1,200 feet in length are provided
on the Pennsylvania Turnpike,
one of the nation's greatest and most
modern highways, briefly described below.
The acceleration lanes on the Turnpike were designed "so that
the Turnpike roadway is approached at such a slight angle that
cars to the rear on the Turnpike can b e seen in the rear-view
mirror of the entering vehicle. h3.
Accelerating and decelerating lanes are part of the design
of many modern super-highways.
The Merritt Parkway in Connecticut,
the World's Pair Boulevard in Long Island,
the Henry Hudson Park­
w a y in Hew York City, the Long Island approaches to the Tri­
borough Bridge, are examples of highways with access and egress
lanes.
1^
Charl’e's' M. Noble, ^Design Features and Traffic Control for the
Pennsylvania Turnpike," Institute of Traffic Engineers 1939
Proceedings, p . 4.
175
B y - P a 8ae8
In addition to safe highway design, the location of highways
has received the attention of engineers.
Efforts have been made
to develop by-pass routes* sometimes called belt parkways or high­
ways, to connect major through routes without passing too close to
congested sections of cities.
chester County, Ne w York,
The Cross County Parkway in W e s t ­
and the Belt Boulevard connecting Brook­
lyn and Queens with highways leading to New England, m a y be cited
as examples of by-passes which aim to avoid heavy urban concentra­
tions.
It is significant that the master highway plan proposed
by the United States Public Roads Administration,
discussed below,
suggests the building of by-passes in future constructions.
A
similar plan was incorporated in the super-highway plan for
Chicago and San Francisco alluded to in the discussion of limited
ways below.
For further discussion of highway location see A Master H igh­
way Plan for the Nation, below.
Speed Zoning
In recent years the control of speed through speed zoning,
in which varying speed maxima are established on the basis of
traffic and road conditions, has become an engineering and en­
forcement function quite apart from the legislative function of
establishing speed limits.
Among the states w hich have gone far
in establishing speed zones are Arizona,
Illinois,
Indiana,
Colorado, Connecticut,
Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minne­
sota, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota,
Oklahoma, Rhode Is­
land, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Wyoming.^*
1.
"Speed Zones and Safety," Better Roads, November 1938.
176
The National Safety Council's Committee on Speed Regulation
in its 1939 report defines speed zoning as "the application of
special posted speed limits to sections of roadway*
provided that
the numerical values of these special limits have b een determined
after engineering investigation of traffic and physical conditions
on these roadway sections."^Speed zoning has also been defined as the sectioning of high­
ways and streets and the posting of special speed limits deemed to
be the safe rate of speed for each section.^
It involves traffic
engineering studies to determine roadway sections where unusual
conditions require alteration of normal driving speeds in adjacent
sections of the highway and to fix limits deemed safe under normal
conditions of weather and traffic.
It also involves the posting
of safe speed limits on zoned sections, and the enforcement
of
these limits.
In its report,
cited above,
the
National Safety Council's
Committee on Speed Regulation stresses the need of public education
to make speed zoning effective.
Motorists should be given specific
information regarding the interpretation of speed limits and zones,
and the relation between speeds,
energy and stopping distances.^
Speed zones are also guides to enforcement officers,
informing
t hem of what is excessive speed for existing physical conditions.*
1.
P. 6.
2.
"Speed Zones and Safety," o p . c i t . ,
3.
P. 7.
4.
"Speed Zones and Safety," o p . c i t .
177
Speed zones have been found effective in controlling speeds
and in reducing accidents in Michigan,
states.
South Carolina, and other
The signs apparently a ided motorists in driving at speeds
more nearly suited to conditions, by indicating the sections where
slower speeds were necessary.^"
Speed zoning,
however,
should not be considered a cure or an
excuse for poor roadway design.
for uniform speeds,
"If a road is properly designed
zoning becomes unnecessary, except where road­
side developments or uncontrollable natural conditions require
speed reductions at a few locations."
2
No-Passing Zones
No-passing zones are the subject of experimentation in many
states today.
A survey made early in 1S39 b y the Public Roads
Administration revealed a wide variation in the system used in
different states to mark and post no-passing zones; in the sight
distance considered below the
width,
safe passing minimum;
in the color,
and location of the pavement stripes, and in the details
of shoulder signs to indicate such zones on two- and three-lane
highways.^
Working in conjunction with the Public Roads Administration,
1.
Committee on Speed Regulation,
1939 R e p o r t , p. 20.
2.
Wilbur S. Smith, "Control of Speeds with Signs and Markings,"
1939 Proceedings, Institute of Traffic Engineers, pp. 34-40.
3.
See "Marking and Signing No-passing Zones on Two- and ThreeLane Roads," hy the Division of Design, Public Roads
Administration, reported by Joseph Barnett, Senior Highway
Desigh Engineer.
Public R o a d s , Vol. 20, No. 10, December
1939.
I
178
three committees of the American Association of State Highway
Officials undertook to develop standards for determining,
locat­
ing, and marking no-passing zones on roads of two and three lanes.
The committee's conclusions include:
A no-passing zone for the purpose of marking two- and
three-lane pavements shall be one in which the sight dis­
tance ahead is less than 500, 600, 800, 1,000, and 1,200
feet for assumed design speeds of 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70
miles per hour, respectively.
Sight distances shall be measured between eye and top
of vehicle, b o t h 4.5 feet above the pavement surface.
No-passing zones . . . .
shall differentiate between
traffic in opposing directions so that traffic in each
direction will notobe restricted from passing when the
road opens up to view.
Intersecting roads for some distance from the inter­
section should be considered no-passing zones for traffio
approaching the intersection.
Where one road is a prefer­
ence road the non-Dreference road only m a y be considered
a no-passing zone.*
Barnett remarks that the marking of no-pasBing zones has
proved effective in encouraging
safe driving and that highway
engineers are convinced that the nation-wide adoption of rational
standards for marking no-passing zones is highly desirable.**
S uoer-Highways
Some elements of safe highway design have b e e n discussed.
Briefly the main functions of such elements are il) to make
possible safe operating speeds in keeping wit h current wishes or
demands of motorists,
(2) to help and encourage the driver by
means of physical roadway features to operate his car in a safe
manner, and (3) to make impossible certain improper driving
1.
Loc. c i t .
2.
Barnett,
0 £.
cit.
179
practices.
The pages that follow will consider, from the
standpoint of safety rather than of highway capacity or econo­
mics,
some of the leading types of super-highways embodying the
elements of design discussed above.
First to be discussed will be the so-called limited way,
originally proposed as a metropolitan system for the Chicago
district, and now in use, at least as regards a number of its
features,
in several partB of the country.
Next will be briefly
described the freeway, which embodies most of the design factors
of the limited way; and finally the express parkway, which also
possesses many elements in common with the other two types of
highways, while retaining the attractive setting of the early
parkways.
These descriptions will be folllowed b y an outline of the
vast master highway plan for the nation, conceived as a network
of motorways to provide fluid and safe movement of vehicles in
every section of the United States.
Limited Ways
The limited w a y is described as a roadway for the exclusive
use of automotive traffic providing for (l) physical separation,
of opposed streams of movement,
from abutting property,
sections,
(2) prohibition of direct access
(3) complete separation of all inter­
(4) separation or segregation of relatively fast and
relatively slow traffic, and (5) facilities for accelerating at
access points and decelerating at exits.^
1.
This discussion follows in part that presented in Limited
W a y s — Plan for the Greater Chicago Traffic A r e a , Report to
the City Council of the City of Chicago by the Committee
on Traffic and Public Safety, December 1933.
180
Among outstanding examples of super-highways embodying some
or all of the limited wa y principles are the Pennsylvania Turn­
pike; Merritt Parkway in Connecticut; West Side Elevated Highway
in Manhattan; the super-highways out of Chicago; the Mt. Vernon
Memorial Highway near Washington, D. C.; the Arroyo Seco Highway
in Sacramento,
California; the depressed highway system of St.
Louis, Missouri, and the Pulaski Skyway in Hew Jersey.
Five years
ago the number of such constructions was exceedingly small. Today
the number and mileage of modern express highways with limited­
way principles have multiplied g r e atly.1
Characteristics of Limited Ways
A limited way differs in man y characteristics from ordinary
routes.
It is limited in the sense that its construction places
definite limitations upon certain types of traffic conflicts,
frictions, which are inevitable on older types of routes.
or
The
provisions made in the limited way for eliminating traffic con­
flicts,
represented b y four frictions, are briefly described as
follows*
Intersectional Friction
The intersection at grade is one of the worst points of con­
flict for motor vehicles proceeding in cross directions.
highways this problem is not acute,
for intersections are in­
frequent and cross-traffic is relatively light.
penetrate urban areas, however,
1.
On rural
On routes which
intersections become more frequent,
Statement of Miller McOlintock, Director, Yale University
Bureau for Street Traffic Research, who originated the
designation limited w a y and is recognized as its chief
proponent.
181
and traffic flow on cross routes increasingly heavy.
Such inter­
sections, besides delaying all streams of traffic, give opportun­
ity for collisions between vehicles and also between vehicles and
pedestrians.
The limited way solves the intersection problem,
or at least
that part caused by cross-flow, by separating the cross routes so
that one will be bridged over the other.
Limited ways make it
possible to maintain even through urban sections as high a facility
of movement as is attainable on the most open rural highways.
An
example that readily comes to mind is New York's West Side Elevated
Highway.
Furthermore, the limited way provides greater safety
than ordinary routes,
for there is no possibility of conflict between
traffic proceeding on the limited way and cross-traffic of any
kind, whether automobile,
pedestrian,
or trolley-car.
Turning movements are, in general, made from the right, along
ramps leading to the surface or the cross routes.
Accelerating
and decelerating lanes on the limited way help to segregate
through movements and turning movements.
Marginal Friction
This refers to conflicts along the edge of a moving traffic
stream, between vehicles moving in the outside lane and pedes­
trians,
fixed objects,
parked cars, abutments or other obstruc­
tions at the edge of the traveled way.
Such conflicts are un­
avoidable on ordinary surface routes subject to parking,
loading
and unloading, movements into and out of private driveways, and
other frictions which limit the safety of the route.
182
The limited way escapes these handicaps,
for it is so
designed and constructed as to make no provision for direct
ingress to or egress from private property.
Parking is prohibit­
ed, except at turnouts or on the grass entirely off the travel
portion of the highway.
Access to stores, etc., is provided by
service roads which parallel but do not interfere with the limited
way.
Medial Friction
This refers to conflicts between vehicles moving in opposite
directions.
Poorly timed attempts at passing slower vehicles on
undivided highways lead to head-on collisions,
side-swipes,
and
rear-end smashes.
The limited way removes these dangers by creating one-way
movements.
This may be attained b y constructing separate r oad­
ways following different alignments or by separating the two
streams by means of a divisional iBland or medial strip.
Such
longitudinal dividers, as described above, may be as wid-e-as fifty
feet or as narrow as fifteen inches.
Internal-Stream Friction
This refers to conflicts between vehicles moving in the same
direction in the same roadway but at different speeds.
This fric­
tion results especially in accidents of overtaking and passing.
It
also results in rear-end collisions or side-swipes in the event of
unsuccessful attempts to pass.
The limited way goes far toward removing the source of such
conflicts by (l) denying under some conditions the use of limited-
183
way facilities to heavy,
slow-moving commercial vehicles,
drawn vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians,
horse-
(2) providing lower
speed and higher speed lanes to facilitate safe passing and lessen
the need for cutting in and out, and (3) supplying accelerating and
decelerating lanes respectively for all entrances and exits.
Types of Limited Ways
The essential characteristics of limited ways ma y be obtained
by several different $ypes of construction.
Three major types are
recognized:^*
1.
Surface routes with special treatment.
Any surface route
may be converted into a limited way if ample right-of-way is avail­
able and if the necessary design is incorporated.
Two essentials
are physically separated roadways from abutting property, and
grade separations wherever cross-traffic movements are necessary.
2.
Depressed ways.
In this type the limited way is con­
structed at a depth below normal street grade.
Under favorable
conditions it is held to be an ideal type of limited way, as it
makes possible the separation of grades with minimal disturbance
to the grade of cross routes,
it favors an artistic treatment
of
the structure', and it eliminates some of the disadvantages of
heavy through traffic movements in residential neighborhoods.
Examples of depressed ways are found on the Henry Hudson Parkway
in New York, where it passes under the George Washington Bridge;
1.
See San Francisco City-Wide Traffic Survey,
W P A Project
6108-5863, prepared for Department of Public Works, W i l l i a m
H. Worden, Director, by Miller McClintock, Traffic Con­
sultant, 1937.
184
the first portion of the approach from New York to the Pulaski
Skyway in New Jersey, and the stretches of the Interboro Parkway
between Brooklyn and Queens, New York City, where the major park­
w ay route goes below the cemetery area,
in trenches faced with
masonry.
3.
Elevated ways.
In this type the limited way is raised
above normal street grade a distance adequate to give clearance
between the structure and the surface routes.
has various merits:
The elevated way
(l) it requires no disturbance of the sur­
face routes or the construction of grade separations,
(2) it
simplifies right-of-way problems, requiring no additional land,
and (3) it entails fewer difficulties of construction in a city
like New York with a complicated substructure of subways, cables,
and so on.
Safety Values of Limited Ways
In addition to saving time and increasing the traffic capa­
city of a roadway, the use of limited-way principles is said to
make for reduction in accidents,
since the limited way has been
designed functionally to remove the instances of actions which
produce mishaps.
Examples are cited of limited ways on which very high vehi­
cular mileages have been run up without a fatality.
For example,
during the first three months of operation of the Merritt Parkway
in Connecticut 7,700,000 vehicle-miles were traveled without a
*
single fatality and with only forty-six minor accidents.
On the
parallel stretch of the Boston Post Road, during the same period,
there were 111 accidents,
or more than two and two-fifths times
185
as m a n y as occurred on the Merritt P a r kway.1
Vey has stated that through reconstruction of highways to
embody limited-way characteristics "a reduction of 75 per cent
or more in the accidents experienced today could he brought
o
about.H
As a further indication
of the favorable results
poss­
ible from limited-way design he cites a comparative study of the
accident rate on the basis of 1,000,000 vehicle-miles along a
section of New Jersey highway having some elements of limited way,
with three sections of a surface roadway embodying no limited-way
characteristics, as follows:
The accident experience for the period of a year on
the (limited way) portion of highway (Route 25, U. S. Route
l) including Twelfth Street viaduct, depressed roadway,
and the Pulaski Skyway, all of which represent the main
approach to the Holland Tunnel, equaled 5.71 accidents per
million vehicle-miles, while for three sections of surface
route (Route 26, U. S. Route l) in South Brunswick, Plainsboro, and West Windsor townships, during the same year, the
rate equaled 10.12, 10.88, and 10.34, respectively.3
Detailed descriptions and illustrations of limited ways will
be found in L imited W a y s — Plan for the Greater Chicago Traffic
A r e a , cited earlier,
and among references in the Bibliography.
Pennsylvania T urnpike
The Pennsylvania Turnpike,
"unlike existing highway systems
in the United States, where standards change every few miles",
embodies a uniform design plan based upon limited-way principles.
The highway was planned from the standpoint
1.
2.
3.
of the safety and con-
Connecticut Highway Safety Commission, Report to the G o v e r n o r ,
December 29, 1938, p. 14.
Arnold H. Vey, "Divided Highways and Freeways," Proceedings,
Highway Conference at University of Michigan, February 1517, 1938, pp. 140-151.
I b i d ., p. 147.
186
venience of the motorist,
"and not merely from the standpoint of
the difficulty of terrain and methods of construction."^The first consideration of design of the Pennsylvania Turnp i k ^ is "safety at high speed."3
Other salient facts follow:
It extends 160 miles half-way across the Btate of Pennsylva­
nia,
crossing the Appalachian Mountains and running from Irwin,
near Pittsburgh,
to Middlesex,
near Harrisburg.
It is the longest stretch of grade-separated highway in the
United States.
There are no railroad or highway crossings at grade anywhere
along the route.
At points of access to the Turnpike, ramps per­
mit motorists to enter or leave the super-highway with freedom
and safety.
Its cost of #61,000,000,
amortized by motorists'
tolls,
is
expected to be paid off in fifteen years.
The roadway consists of two twenty-four-foot traffic lanes
separated by a ten-foot
parkway, and has ten-foot shoulders. This
width allows sufficient space for faster traffic to overtake slow­
er vehicles.
The shoulders were made wide enough to serve as emergency
parking areas.
The Turnpike has no grades in excess of 3 per cent, and m a x ­
imum horizontal curvature is limited to six degrees.
1.
2.
3.
See Charles M. Noble (Special Design Engineer, Pennsylvania
Turnpike Commission), "Design Features and Traffic Control
for the Pennsylvania Turnpike," Institute of Traffic E n ­
gineers 1939 Procee d i n g s , pp. 41-45.
Pacts taken from Roads and Streets. October 1939.
Fatal accidents occurred on the Turnpike in the first six
months of operation.
See Design Speed, above.
187
The road avoids all centers of population, wit h access
provided at both termini and at eight intermediate points.
Ac­
celerating and decelerating lanes are provided.
Curves are super-elevated, and provided with transitions so
that speed reduction will take place gradually over a series of
curves.
Night driving safety was considered in the design, and head­
light sight distance of 1,000 feet was established as the distance
over which it is possible to see a wide expanse at night with most
headlights.
Following careful studies,
specially large and clear signs
were set up along the Turnpike, so placed as to give motorists
more ample warning probably than signs on any present high-speed
roadway in the United States.^
Express Parkways
The parkways developed in answer to the need for pleasant,
comfortable, and rapid motor vehicle communication between metro­
politan centers and suburban communities in their orbits.^
In
its design the parkway of today is a far cry from the early sinu­
ous, narrow and undivided ones.
The present parkway has most of
the important features of design and operation of the limited way
or freeway.
The parkway has been described as essentially a free­
way except that the sense of recreation is added.
Basic features
of design in the building of modern express parkways follow:
1.
2.
See the discussion of Turnpike signs, above.
Facts for this section drawn from a lecture by Sidney M.
Shapiro, Assistant Chief Engineer, Long Island State Park
Commission, at Yale University Bureau for Street Traffic
Research, M a y 9, 1939.
188
Divided pavement; width of the center mall or park strip
averages from nine to twelve feet; width of the concrete lanes
is eleven, twelve, or thirteen feet, depending on whether it is
an inside,
outside,
or in the case of the six-lane design, a
center lane.
Concrete pavement colored with carhon black, bordered by
white cement sloping curbs.
The contrast between the black pave­
ment and the white
curb is of material help in outlining the edges
of the roadway for
night driving.
ment reduces glare
from the sun during daytime driving.
Funnel-shaped
At the same time, the dark
pave­
entrances to the parkway to prevent simul­
taneous entrance of more than one car are also standard design.
Accelerating and decelerating lanes at each of the entrances
and exits.
Alongside the parkway pavement the shoulder is graded
level for a minimum width of eight feet to provide space for dis­
abled cars.
Lighting by an improved incandescent system consisting of 400candle power lamps mounted on double-arm poles,
located along the
center mall and spaced 175 feet apart.
Bituminous macadam sidewalks, generally five feet wide along
the parkway for pedestrian use, wit h benches at suitable intervals.
Gas stations of brick and stone to conform with the archi­
tectural treatment of the bridges.
State police facilities consisting of main headquarters and
barracks along the parkway,
substations and police booths at inter­
vals, with police telephone and teletype systems.
The cost of express parkway construction varies with width,
number of grade separation structures and other features, and
ranges from $300,000 a mile through fairly open territory to
189
$1,000,000 a mile in built-up sections near New York City.
Today New York's metropolitan area possesses 115 miles of
parkways.
One of the best illustrations of this type of m etro­
politan highway is the Circumferential or Belt Boulevard.
This,
when completed, will be 71 miles long and will include 146 grade
separation structures.
It will carry an estimated 15,000,000
automobiLes a year and will interconnect with all important arte­
ries within the city limits and the surrounding territory of
Westchester County, Long Island and New Jersey.
Freeways
The term freeway is frequently applied to highway facilities
having characteristics almost identical with those described for
limited ways.
A freeway-1- is defined as a highway to which there is no vehi­
cular access from abutting property.
Filling
stations,
restau­
rants, garages would be located at carefully sdected points, with
entrances and exit3 thereto so designed as to create no inter­
ference with the free flow of traffic on the
The freeway principle provides permanent
freeway.
protection against
encroachments upon highway capacity and efficiency because of the
development of roadside uses.
Express freeways are proposed as
providing the most satisfactory design for by-passing metropolitan
areas and as through-travel routes permitting rapid transportation
between key points.
1.
2.
O
The term freeway is reported to have been coined by Edward M*
Bassett, attorney of New York City, a consultant to the
Regional Plan Association of New York, Inc.
Burton W. Marsh, "Express Highways," Institute of Traffic E n ­
gineers, 1937 P roceedings, pp. 60-72.
190
A Master Highway Plan for the Hation
It is significant to what extent the history-making report'*’
of the United States Bureau of Public Roads
(Public Roads A d ­
ministration) bears out some of the highway concepts outlined
above.
The report,
embodied in a special message to Congress by
President Roosevelt,
of rural traffic,
views the problem of city traffic, not that
as the most
urgent one facing the nation in the
field of automotive transportation.
obstacles to traffic safety,
To remedy the present urban
the federal investigators propose,
among other things, a system of express routes passing through
centers of large cities,
to handle both the through traffic and
the local traffic emanating from surrounding streets.
ilities would,
Such fac­
in the main, be depressed under all cross-streets,
and be attractively landscaped.
In addition,
for large cities, a system of belt-line or b y ­
pass routes is recommended, with cross-traffic banned but with
access at the points of junction with main arteries.
Such belt-
line "distribution highways," while having some of the character­
istics of by-pass routes, would have for a main function the lead­
ing of traffic to entrance roads where such traffic ma y be more
conveniently and adequately accommodated.
The by-pass roads of
the familiar type are held to be of greater help to smaller cities
than to large ones, because traffic usually is headed for large
cities and does not want to by-pass them.
The report emphasizes metropolitan needs,
pointing out that
the great highway building of the next few years must ai m to
1.
Toll Roads and Pree Roads.
191
improve the situation caused by the great concentration of traffic
within and surrounding large urban areas.
Taking cognizance of
the continued high level of accidents and congestion, the govern­
ment highway experts declare that "in numerous cities conditions
of the sort here described are fast reaching a critical point."
Some measures of relief are imperative, they point out, and
tne only course that promises a really satisfactory solution is
the provision of adequate facilities for conducting the heavier
entering traffic streams through cities at or near the center,
and
on to appropriate exit points.
In the larger cities generally,
they add,
only a major oper­
ation will suffice; nothing less than the creation of depressed or
elevated arteries.
The congestion in many cities under present
conditions results,
in their view,
in part from the usually
inadequate width of existing facilities and in part from conflict
with cross traffic, generally complicated by parked vehicles.
A national system of interregional highways is proposed,
proximately 27,000 miles in extent,
ap­
linking most of the major
cities and designed for peace-time as well as war-time needs. Such
a system, which would become the n a t i o n ’s primary highway system,
would utilize improved and modernized existing routes and a
certain number of new routes providing direct connections with
the master system.
To this outline of the report m a y be appended the words
another context)
(in
of Commissioner Thomas H. MacDonald of the Public
Roads Administration;
Expressways in cities, special interregional highways
joining the principal cities, the elimination of railroad
grade crossings, and a general modernization of our ordinary
192
rural highways— these constitute no Utopian program.
Rather
are they the immediate needs of a traffic already developed
in volume and kind beyond the capacity and design o f many of
the existing highway facilities.
We must find ways to provide these new facilities
quickly; and one of the first necessities is the provision
of means for the prompt acquisition of the new and wider
rights-of-way that are required.
So far as construction and
maintenance are concerned it is probable that the costs can
be met with tax contributions of road users at the present
rates, if in their full amount all such special taxes are
reserved for highway purposes.1
Aids to Uight Driving
Ho matter how safe a roadway may be in the daytime,
it is
obvious that unless it possesses good qualities of visibility at
night there will be constant opportunities for accidents.
aids to night visibility must be provided.
Thus
From his own observa­
tion the author has prepared the following list of aids to visibi­
lity for night drivings
1.
Headlamps and other vehicular lights.
2.
Light-colored pavement with high reflecting qualities.
(Roughening of the surface and admixture of carbon serve
to diminish glare in sunlight).
3.
White center lines,
lane lines, and pavement edge lines.
4.
White material curbings and abutments.
5.
Reflecting signs.
6.
Reflectors on abutments.
7.
Reflecting curbs and standards which outline the road
margin by reflecting the headlights of vehicles.
8.
Illumination of signs, abutments,
and curbs by electric
lights.
1.
Automotive Safety Foundation,
back cover.
1940 Highway Safety D i g e s t ,
193
9.
Use of floodlighting at high accident intersections,
curves, hills,
10.
pedestrian crossings, etc.
Use of street lights on all important city streets,
trunk-lines in metropolitan areas and on inter-city
routes.
In recent years a revolution has taken place in providing
better seeing conditions for driving after dark.
The fact that
approximately 60 per cent of traffic fatalities occur after dark,
when traffic is about one-third the daytime volume, has called
the attention of technical experts to the need of providing better
illumination for night driving.
Poor Visib ility and Accidents
Traffic fatalities after dark increased by 15 per cent be­
tween 1930 and 1939, while daytime fatalities declined b y 18 per
cent.
More than 50 per cent of all pedestrian deaths occur be­
tween 6 P. M. and midnight.
Night accidents increase greatly
during months when hours of daylight are fewest.
The accident
rate per mile is highest at night.1
Poor visibility is recognized as the major factor in the
high incidence of night accidents,
and striking reductions have
bee n shown in numerous instances through improved lighting of
streets and highways.^
The following illustrates the value of
illumination in accident reductions
To test the value of modern lighting, sodium-vapor
lighting equipment was installed in November, 1937, at
1*
2.
Accident Pacts 1940, pp. 44-45.
See National Safety Council, Visibility V s . Traffic Acc i d e n t s ,
and National Conservation Bureau, Public Safety as Affected
by Street L i g h t i n g , and_ Highway Lighting and Public Sa'f'etyr
194
three major intersections Iin Chicago).
Five m o n t h s 1
results indicate a 17 per cent reduction in total number
of accidents.
Personal injury accidents decreased 46 per
cent, and accidents involving pedestrians were reduced by
14 per cent, a marked improvement.1
Headlamps
Reference was made in Chapter V to the introduction of sealed
be a m headlamps providing higher light output in the country driving
bea m and lessened glare in the traffic beam, and necessitating less
frequent adjustment.
The new headlamps,
developed through years
of research and cooperation on the part of the motor industry,
the
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, and technical
experts, were designed to meet these among other objectives;
1.
Safer seeing on the open road realized through higher
light output in the driving beam, w i t h more adequate
coverage laterally and vertically.
2.
Safer seeing in traffic accomplished by the use of a
traffic bea m w hich is intended to reduce glare sub­
stantially for the oncoming driver and at the same
time illuminate the right side of the road to a greater
distance and more adequately than in previous headlight
practice.2
The use of polarized headlamps as a means of preventing
glare has been suggested.
Theoretically it is possible to polar­
ize the light emanating from headlamps.
effective, however,
For polarization to be
it would be necessary that every windshield
be also polarized in relation to headlamps.
The practical diffi­
culties of polarizing the headlamps and windshields of the 30,00(V
000 motor vehicles in the United States today have led the auto­
1.
Leslie J. Sorenson, "Sodium Lighted Intersections."
Amerioan City, July, 1936.
2.
Visibility V s . Traffic A c cidents, pp. 16-17.
The
195
motive industry to abandon efforts to reduce headlight glare
through polarization.1- Furthermore,
polarization by its very
nature reduces the illumination from a given light source.
While
it would be possible to increase the light output proportionately
to compensate for this loss, the problem of dazzling the pedestrian
would be made more difficult.
Polarization of headlamps would
have no effect upon reducing glare to pedestrians or to vehicles
without polarized windshields.
Advances in Highway Lighting
Recent advances in highway lighting may be summarized as
follows:2
1.
Development of sodium-vapor and mercury-vapor lamps, the
first having an efficiency of light production nearly three times,
the second about double, that of the incandescent lamp at present
in use on the great majority of streets and highways.
2.
Hew luminaires for street and highway lighting which,
aided by more adequate mounting heights,
positions,
and locations,
are said to have increased illumination b y four to six times with­
out increase in the size or number of lamps.
3.
Use of reflector standards or posts which,
placed at
intervals along the highway, catch the light from headlamps and
define the route for night drivers.
During the first nine months
of the installation of these reflectors along an 85-mile stretch
of U. S. Route 16 between Detroit and Lansing, Michigan,
1.
2.
it is
Information from Automobile Manufacturers Association, Hew York.
Facts taken fro m Kirk M. Reid, "Effective Street Lighting,"
Proceedings of Highway Conference at University of Michigan,
February 15-17, 1938, pp. 151-162.
19&
estimated that the night accident fatality rate on that section
of highway decreased by 60 per cent.
These roadside reflectors,
first used extensively in Michigan in 1938,
have also been in­
stalled on sections of the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut,
the
Beno-Carson Highway in Nevada, and other routes in sixteen states.
The National Safety Council's Committee on Night Driving
Hazards in its 1939 Report notes:
Although reflector buttons and reflector markers do not
actually affect visibility of the road surface, they are a
definite aid in delineating curves and hazards on highways.
They are economically justifiable on the outside of curves,
on approaches to bridges, culverts, "T* intersections, and
on entire sections of highways having numerous curves and
intersections.
Reflectorization is especially helpful in
sections having frequent periods of foggy and rainy weather.
Among the committee's conclusions are:
The best immediate answer to the glare problem is
driver education and enforcement of the use of the lower
or traffic beams alway^l when approaching other cars.
Traffic safety lighting continues to demonstrate its
value for reducing accidents.
It appears to be particularly
effective in protecting pedestrians.2
The report goes exhaustively into the subject of visibility
for night drivers and includes facts about night accidents, how
persons 3ee at night, and methods of street lighting for traffic
safety.
It gives examples of reductions in accidents with im­
proved lighting and discusses the effect upon visibility of auto­
mobile headlamps,
pavement markings, and reflectors.
Both the Code of Street Lighting and the Code of Highway
Lighting developed by the Illuminating Engineering Society contain
recommendations on the spacing, mounting,
height, arrangement,
lamp size for each major classification of street and highway.
1.
0^. cit_., p . 5.
2.
Loc. cit.
and
CHAPTER VII
SUMMARY AND IMPLICATIONS
This study has dealt with certain factors involved in
traffic accidents.
It has outlined various procedures used by
engineering departments,
education authorities and enforcement
officials in endeavoring to reduce traffic accidents.
The study presented a number of acute traffic problems, re­
lating t h e m to characteristics of drivers and pedestrians, to
characteristics of the motor vehicle, and to characteristics of
the street and highway.
The investigator went to authoritative sources to ascertain
the possible contributions of educational,
engineering, and en­
forcement agencies toward the solution of specific categories of
traffic accidents.
The study outlined the legal and administrative bases for
the control of motor vehicle traffic and pointed out that a
number of fundamental standards had been developed.
standards,
These
covering the rules and regulations for the operation
of motor vehicles,
the types of traffic control devices and
methods for their installation, and certain policies of roadway
design, are gaining ground in man y states.
Not only the Federal Government, but state and city agencies
and more than fifty unofficial organizations have recognized the
importance of the traffic accident situation.
They are contri­
198
buting vast sums and much effort and ingenuity toward the solution
of vexing traffic difficulties.
These difficulties are important from bot h the humanitarian
and the economic aspects.
E very three years in the United States
approximately 100,000 persons meet death in traffic mishaps and
more than 3,000,000 are injured.
The costs of such accidents to
the individuals involved or their families exceed #1,000,000,000
annually.
To this sum must be. added the losses suffered b y the
community as a whole in terms both of accidents and congestion.
Various factors have operated to make the problems of traffic
accidents increasingly acute.
In less than one generation the
motor vehicle has become indispensable to millions in this country.
Starting as a luxury or pleasure conveyance, the automobile has
become invaluable to m any businesses and to the entire distribu­
tive system of the United States.
motor vehicles has multiplied.
In twenty years the number of
Today the total reaches approxi­
mately 30,000,000.
In addition, the speed of such vehicles has
greatly increased.
The mileage driven reaches the astronomical
figure of 285,000,000,000 vehicle-miles annually.
of the country also has grown.
More young,
The population
inexperienced drivers
are taking the wheel.
These and other factors have combined to bring about a serious
lack of adjustment of the driver and the pedestrian to the new era
of automotive speed.
Lack of adjustment is also discernible as
between the modern vehicle capable of high speed and the older
types of roadways built to accommodate slower and fewer vehicles*
Delays,
congestion, accidents are the by-products of such ill-
adjustments*
199
Various techniques for dealing with traffic accidents have
been developed to a high degree of effectiveness.
traffic safety emphasize, however,
Leaders in
that the application of these
techniques is still far from satisfactory.
The writer has gone further, and stated that in his opinion
the way in which traffic accident reduction methods and devices
are applied is probably as significant to success as the methods
and devices themselves.
He has stressed the necessity for a
sociological approach, to which further reference will be made
in this summary.
In discussing the contributions of the engineer, the educa­
tor and the enforcement man toward eradication of traffic acci­
dents certain generalizations current in the field may be accept­
ed.
On the basis of the data collected and the studies made,
writer agrees that,
in general,
the traffic engineer can effect
quick remedies of traffic accident situations,
low cost.
the
The traffic engineer uses signs,
frequently at v e r y ^
signals, markings and
islands.
The highway engineer,
using modern types and designs of
roadways,
can effect lasting results in accident prevention, but
frequently at very high expenditure.
Education as an approach to
accident reduction is considered relatively slow in producing
results and probably more expensive than traffic engineering, but
less expensive than highway engineering.
Enforcement techniques
m ay be considered rapid in achieving results, but relatively ex­
pensive,
since they are based upon man-power.
In considering this contributions of the engineer,
the educa­
tor and the enforcement official it appears that the solution to
200
certain problems of traffic accidents lies primarily in the
field of one of the three E ' s of engineering,
education, and
enforcement, ■while the solution to certain other problems lies
preponderantly in the field of another of the E's.
To illustrate:
The preparation of drivers, as discussed in
Chapter IV, would seem to be chiefly a task for the educator.
The
removal of street hazards, as in the case of the view-obstructing
hedge discussed in Chapter VI,
is a job which the traffic engineer
can do effectively and economically.
The curbing of drunken drivers
and pedestrians appears to be most amenable to the methods of the
enforcement officer.
On the other hand,
other problems of traffic accidents appear
to require attack along all three sides of engineering,
and enforcement.
education,
Traffic safety when confronted by such problems
m a y be viewed as three interlocking circles, merging and overlapping
at certain points and diverging at others, but always held together
as a trilogy.
This interrelationship may be illustrated by the case of a
school intersection where accidents to children have been occur­
ring.
The educator's part in trying to remedy the situation
would, among other things,
patrols,
consist in establishing school safety
reinforced by demonstrations and classroom instruction
in safe walking.
The engineer's contribution would probably
consist in erecting Slow or Caution signs along the approaches
to the school,
or, in acute cases,
in' building an overhead or
underground passage for use of the school children.
The police
officer would see that the signs were obeyed by motorists,
and
at appropriate hours would be stationed at the crossing to guide
201
and protect the pupils.
Each method contributes to the effectiveness of the others,
and in many cases is essential to the success of the whole.
The
Stop signs put up b y the engineer would be quite useless without
police support, at least until a sufficient degree of compliance
b y motorists was attained.
In turn,
enforcement would probably
fail if the school children did not cross properly but swarmed
all over the street in reckless disregard of the right of m o t o r ­
ists.
And lastly the e d u c a t o r ’s safety lessons and safety patrol
would be less effective without some control of motorists.
Underlying the efforts of the engineer, the educator and the
enforcement man is the community.
To be sure, the community as a
factor in accident prevention has received consideration hereto­
fore.
But such consideration,
it appears to the writer, has been
as a passive rather than as an active factor; as a group of human
beings at w hom engineering,
ties are directed,
educational,
and enforcement activi­
rather than as a social entity with traditions,
mores and economic patterns.
The writer holds the community to be a highly dynamic factor
in accident prevention.
Visits to many types of communities have
led h i m to believe that possessing the various techniques for
traffic control is not enough.
The application of such techniques
in accordance with the peculiar social,
economic and political
character of each community is equally important.
W h y are some medical remedies more effective with some
persons than wit h others?
Therapeutics takes into consideration
individual differences and allergies.
In traffic safety,
too,
is known that certain methods or remedies work better in some
it
202
localities than in others.
education.
This is not always a matter of public
In the view of the writer,
it is a matter of social
conditioning requiring a sociological approach.
What are some of the implications of this viewpoint?
One is
t--
the need for a muc h closer operation of the three E's of engineering,
education, and enforcement.
In many sections of the country, as
far as this observer can judge,
cooperation among engineers,
cators, and enforcement officials is only nominal.
edu­
The traffic
or highway safety commission is an attempt to fuse the major pro­
fessional approaches into a working unit, and represents a trend
worthy of attention.
It m a y be truthfully said, however,
that by
and large the traffic safety commissions have far to go before
they can be called truly effective in their work.
Nevertheless,
as shown by the comprehensive programs of engineering,
education,
and enforcement carried on b y the Texas Highway Department and
the Connecticut Highway Safety Commission,
it appears possible to
bring the three E's into closer collaboration.
Another implication concerns the removal of certain anta­
gonisms and jealousies among groups engaged in each of the major
divisions of traffic safety,
enforcement.
that is engineering,
education, and
The student of the subject is soon struck b y the
feeling in some quarters that the three E's, though they m a y
occasionally interplay, are separate compartments with sharply
differentiated boundaries.
"You stay in your field and I'll stay
in mine," is the attitude of some leaders in one or another of
the camps.
This,
it appears to the writer,
a field that, as has been indicated,
is a harmful trichotomy in
is sorely in n e e d of a
203
synthesis of all the forces seeking to reduce accidents.
What is
needed is not to build barriers but to break down barriers; not
cooperation in theory but teamwork in practice.
The final implication is expressed in the statement that
traffic safety may require the services of the sociologist in
addition to those of the engineer, the educator, and the police
officer.
The sociologist,
trained to observe social behavior and
relationships, ma y bring unifying concepts into the field of
traffic safety; for the problem of accidents in the modern world
is preeminently a social problem.
How far can the specialist in each of the E's proceed wit h ­
out a working knowledge of and agreement with the other two E's?
To what extent would a concerted attack by all three upon a
specific problem be more effective than, an attack by only one or
two?
In what ways may a closer union of the three be accomplish­
ed and put into practice?
These questions merit further study
for the bearing they ma y have upon traffic accident reduction.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
In preparing this bibliography an attempt was made to select publications
based upon research studies carried on by responsible agencies.
The atm was
also to list books, pamphlets and other materials which are readily obtainable.
The order of topics in the bibliography follows in general the order of chap­
ters and sections in this study.
Blbliographies and Checklists
Cottrell, H. Louise, Source Materials in Safety Education. New York University
Center for Safety Education, 1940. P. 2.
________Bibliography of Safety Books for the Elementary School Library. New
York University Center for Safety Education, 1940. P. 3.
General Motors Corporation, Department of Public Relations, Bibliography of
Traffic Safety Material and Publications. New York, 1939. P. 19.
National Education Association of the United States, Research Division, Safety
and Safety Education: An Annotated Bibliography. Washington D. C., 1939.
P. 64.
________ Checklist of Safety and Safety Education. Washington, D. C., 1939.
P. 30.
National Highway Users Conference, Highways and Motor Transportation: A Bibli­
ography. Washington, D. C., 1937. P. 100.
New York University Center for Safety Education, A Selected Bibliography in
Traffic Safety and Driver Training. Compiled by Milton D. Kramer,
1940. P. 10.
_________ Bibliography of Kit Materials for Teachers' Course in Traffic Safety
and Driver Education. 1940. P. 1.
'
Bibliography of Tests in Traffic Safety. 1940.
P. 1.
Wilson, Mildred A., Bibliography of Highway Safety. Washington D. C.: U. S.
Government Printing Office, 1938. P. 136.
205
Annual Proceedings
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Washington D. C.
American Association of State Highway Officials, Washington, D. C.
Highway Research Board, Washington, D. C*
Institute of Traffic Engineers, Hew lork, New York.
National Safety Council, Chicago, 111.
Periodicals
Accident Facts. Published annually by National Safety Council, Chicago, 111.
American Highways. Published quarterly by American Association of State High­
way Officials, Washington, D. C.
Automobile Facta and Figures. Published annually by Automobile Manufacturers
Association, Detroit, Mich.
Bulletin of the Safety Education Association. Published quarterly by the
Association at 20 Washington Square North, New lork, N. Y.
Highway Research Abstracts. Published ten times a year by Highway Research
Board, Washington, D. C.
Public Roads. Published monthly hy United States Public Roads Administration,
Washington, D. C.
Public Safety. Published monthly by National Safety Council, Chicago, 111.
Safety. Published monthly by Greater New York Safety Council, New York, N. Y.
Safety Education. Published monthly by National Safety Council, Chicago, 111,
Safety Engineering.
Albany, N. Y.
Published monthly by Alfred M. Best Company, Inc.,
Traffic Engineering. Published monthly by Institute of Traffic Engineers,
New York, N. Y.
History and Development
Automobile Manufacturers Association, You in Your Car on City Streets.
Detroit, 1936. P. 63.
Bouton, A. L., An Outline History of Transportation. Detroitt Fisher Body
Craftsman's Guild, 1934. P. 59.
Furnas, J. C., — And Sudden Death.
Readers Digest. Aug. 1935.
206
Glasscock, C. B., The Gasoline Age.
1937. P. 359.
New York:
Holbrook, Stuart, Let Them Live. New York:
P. 178.
Bobbs-Merrill Company,
The Macmillan Company, 1938.
Kettering, Charles F., The New Necessity. Baltimore:
Wilkins Company, 1932. P. 124.
McClintock, Miller, Street Traffic Control.
Company, 1925. P. 233.
The Williams and
New York:
McGraw-Hill Book
National Highway Users Conference, Economic and Social Values of the
Automobile. Washington, D. C., 1927. P. 63.
Pound, Arthur, The Turning Wheel.
Company., 1934. P. 517.
Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday Doran &
President's Research Committee on Social Trends, Recent Social Trends In
the United States. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1933. Vol. 1,
Chapter IV.
Reck, Franklin M., Automobiles from Start to Finish.
Crowell Company, 1935. P. 92.
New York:
Sinsabaugh, Chris, Who. Me? Forty Years of Automobile History.
Arnold-Powerb , Inc., 1940. P. 377.
Thomas Y.
Detroit:
United States National Resources Planning Board, Too Many Cars— Too Little
Space. Boston: New England Regional Planning Commission, 1939. P. 42.
Accident Facts and Accident Reporting
International Association of Chiefs of Police, Safety Division, Accident
Investigators Training Manual. Evanston, 111. P. 250.
National Safety Council, Accident Facts 1940 Edition.
Chicago, 111., P. 112.
_________ Practical Uses of Accident Records in Traffic Safety. P. 2.
Stack, Herbert J., Accidents and the National Health.
Conservation Bureau, P. 2.
New York:
National
Travelers Insurance Company, Here Today— Gone Tomorrow. Hartford, Conn.,
1941. P. 36.
United States Public Roads Administration, Highway Accidents: Their Causes
and Recommendations for their Prevention. Washington, D. C., 1938.
P. 38.
20?
Motor-Vehlcle Traffic Conditions in the United States. Part 1,
Nonuniformity of State Motor-Vehicle Traffic tawsj Part 2, Skilled In­
vestigation at the Scene of the Accident Needed to Develop Causes;
Part 3, Inadequacy of State Motor-Vehicle Accident Reporting; Part 4,
Official Inspection of Vehicles; Part 5, Case Histories of Fatal High­
way Accidents; Part 6, The Accident-Prone Driver. Washington, D. C.:
United States Government Printing Office, 19S8.
Vernon, H. M., Accidents and their Prevention. New lork:
Co. P. SS6.
The Macmillan
Traffic Safety Education: Driver Training and Testing
Abercrombie, Stanley A., Rating Scale for Automobile Drivers.
University Center for Safety Education, 1941* P. 52.
New York
Allen, Thomas, Safe and Sane Use of the Highways. Milwaukee: A. M. Hale
& Company, 1935. Chapter VII.
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Driver Manual.
Washington, D. C., 1940. P. 41 (mimeo.)
________ Driver License Examination Procedure.
1939.
P. 91 (mimeo.)
________ Minimum Driver License Examination Standards. 1939.
P. 25.
American Association of School Administrators, Safety Education. Washington,
D. C.: National Education Association, 1940. P. 544.
American Automobile Association, Sportsmanlike Driving. Washington, D. C., 1938.
Five volumes in one: Part I, The Driver, P. 85; Part II, Driver and Pedes­
trian Responsibilities, P. 80; Part III, Sound Driving Practices, P. 100;
Part IV, Society's Responsibilities, P. 104; Part V, How to Drive, P. 106.
Beadle, Kenneth N., Driver Training Procedure.
tion Bureau, 1939. P. 28.
New York: National Conserva­
Billings, Curtis, Science Measures the Driver's Defects.
News. July 1934, P. 9.
National Safety
Chicago Motor Club, Test in Safe Driving for High School Students.
111.
Chicago,
De Silva, Harry R., A Research on Scientific Investigation of Driving Skill.
FERA Project No. XS-F2-U25, sponsored by Massachusetts State College,
Amherst, Massachusetts. P. 51. (Obtainable from Institute of Human
Relations, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.)
Dickinson, H. C., Safe Driving in Traffic. Washington, D. C.: National
Bureau of Standards, 1936. P. 6 (mimeo.)
Douglas, Richard A., Common Sense in Driving Your Car.
Green and Company, 1936. P. 63.
New York:
Longmans,
208
Floherty, John J., Youth at the Wheel*
Company, 1937. P. 154.
Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott
General Motors Corporation, We Drivers.
Detroit, 1935.
P. 36.
United States Interstate Commerce Commission, Motor Carrier Safety Regula­
tions. Revised. Washington, D. C.: United States Government Printing
Office, 1939. P. 100.
La Porte, Rudolph J., The Operation of an Automobile.
Inc., 1932. P. 64.
Hamilton, J. R. and Thurstone, L. I., Safe Driving.
Doubleday Doran and Company, 1957. P. 74.
Boston:
Bruce Humphries,
Garden City, New York:
Lauer, Alvah R., Methods of Measuring the Ability to Drive anAutomobile.
Ames, Iowa: Iowa State College, 1936. P. 39.
________ How We Can Measure Driving Ability.
P. 25.
________ Disabilities that Cause Accidents.
1932, P. 48.
National Safety News. July 1932,
National Safety. News. October,
________ What Types of Persons Have Accidents?
August 1932, P. 5.
National Safety News.
Lawshe, G. H. Jr., A Review of the Literature Related to the Various Psy­
chological Aspects of Highway Safety. Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue
University, 1939. P. 59.
Welday, Roy A., Your Automobile and You.
1938. P. 251.
New York:
Henry Holt & Company,
Miles, W. R. Alcohol and Motor Vehicle Drivers. Highway Research Board
Proceedings. December 7-8, 1933. P. 362-381.
Muench, George W., A Course in Highway Safety for SeattlePublic
Seattle, Washington, 1938.
Schools.
National Conservation Bureau, A Guide-Book for Safety Education. New York,
1931. P. 89.
National Safety Council, Good Driving.
.
Too Long at the Wheel.
Chicago, 1935.
Chicago, 1935.
________ Reaction Time in Automobile Driving.
P. 43.
P. 47.
Chicago, 1939.
P. 7.
__________ Examining Applicants for Drivers1 Licenses. Chicago, 1939.
Neyhart, Amos E. (Editor), Seminar Proceedings in Traffic Safety and Driver
Education. State College, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State College,
1938. (mimeo.)
New York University Center for Safety Education, Conference on Problems in
School Safety Administration. Abstract of Proceedings, 1940.
209
--------- Pre-Convention Conference on Safety Education American Association of
Health. Physical Education and Recreation. Abstract of Proceedings, 1940.
Noffsinger, F. R., Series of Standardized Tests for "Sportsmanlike Driving.11
Washington, D. C.: American Automobile Association, 1938.
Noffsinger, F. R. and Neyhart, A. E., Teachers Manual in Driver Education
a-nri Training. Washington, D. C.: American Automobile Association.
Sherman, Hay W., If You1re Going to Drive Fast.
Company, 1955. P. 149.
Stack, Herbert J., Dust Off Your Grey Matter.
tion Bureau, 1931.
New York:
New York:
Thomas Y. Crowell
National Conserva­
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ Safety Education in the Secondary Schools. New York: National
Conservation Bureau, 1931.
_ _ _ _ _ National Safe Drivers -Test.
Bureau. P. 4.
________ Training Tomorrow's Drivers.
Education. P. 4.
New York:
National Conservation
New York University Center for Safety
State Education Departments, Courses of Study in Traffic Safety and Driver
Training: California,-Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other states, (pamphlets.)
State of New Hampshire, Motor Vehicle Department, An Elective Non-unit
Course in Automobile Driving in Secondary Schools. Concord.
Stoeckel, Robbins B.j Mary, Mark A., and Kirby, Shelton, Sense and Safety
on the Road. New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1936. P. 304.
Swope, A., Judgment Test on Safe Driving Practices. Bloomington, 111.:
McKnight and McKnight, 1939.
Toops, Herbert A., and Haven, S. Edson, Psychology and the Motorist. Columbus,
Ohio: R. G. Adams and Company, 1938. P. 265.
Weiss, Albert P. and Lauer, Alvah R., Psychological Principles in Automobile
Driving. Columbus: Ohio State University, 1930. P. 165.
Whitney, Albert W. (Editor). Man and the Motor Car. New York:
Conservation Bureau, 1939. P. 256.
Yordan, E. L., Clinics Test the Driver.
National
New York Times. June 20, 1937.
Pedestrians
American Automobile Association, Pedestrian Protection. Washington, D. C.
D. C., 1939. P. 90.
________
SnortSMiiHifa ThHvlnpr. Washington, D. C., 1938.
"Driver and Pedestrian Responsibilities«n
Unit II,
210
American Association of School Administrators, Safety Education. Eighteenth
Yearbook. Washington, D. C.: National Education Association, 1940.
Chapters IV, V, VIII.
General Federation of Women's Clubs, Women and the War on Accidents.
Washington, D. C., 1938. P. 16.
National Safety Council, Pedestrian Control and Protection
mittee). Chicago, 1939. P. 26.
(Report of Com­
_________ Safeguarding the Pedestrian (Report of Committee).
P. IS.
Chicago, 1938.
Reeder, Earl J., What Can We Do About Pedestrian Accidents? Highway Research
Board Proceedings. Washington, D. C., 1938. P. 387-384.
United States Works Progress Administration, Division of Social Research,
Pedestrian Traffic Volume Counts. Washington, D. C., 1938. P. 17 (mimeo.)
State and Community Organization for Traffic Safety
American Automobile Association, Standard Rules for the Operation of School
Safety Patrols. Washington, D. C., 1937.
• Automotive Safety Foundation, Standard Highway Safety Program for States.
Washington, D. C., 1940. P. 23.
_________ Traffic Safety, Today's Gains. Tomorrow's Goal. Washington, D. C.,
1940. P. 12.
Connecticut: Governor's Commission on Street and Highway Safety, Community
Safety in Connecticut. Hartford. P. 22.
Hoffman, Paul, Seven Roads to Safety.
1939. P. 87.
New York:
Harper and Brothers,
Marsh, Burton W., Looking Ahead at the Traffic Problem. Washington, D. C.:
American Automobile Association (Reprint).
National Conference on Street and Highway Safety, Guides to Traffic Safety.
Washington, D. C.: United States Public Roads Administration, 1938.
P. 48.
National Congress of Parents and Teachers, Organized Safety bv Organized
Parents and Teachers. Chicago, 1957. P. 20.
National Conservation Bureau, Creating Safer Communities.
P. 45.
Community Traffic Engineering.
New York, 1938.
New York, 1937.
P. 11.
National Education Association, Research Division, Safety in Pupil Trans­
portation. Washington, D. C.: Research Bulletin 14: 197-244; November,
1936.
211
National Highway Users Conference, School Buses— Safety Equipment and Con­
struction* Washington, 1958. P. 96 (mimeo.)
National Safety Council, Community Safety.
Chicago, P. 71.
Educating the Public for Traffic Safety. 1959.
P. 52.
________ Setting Up Traffic Planning in Your City. 1957.
P. 9 (mimeo)
________ State and Community Organization for Safety. P. 24.
Stack, Herbert J.; Seaton, Don Cash, and Hyde, Florence Slown, Safety in
the World of Today. Chicago: Beckley-Cardy Company, 1941. P. 572.
United States Department of Commerce, Accident Prevention Conference, How
Milwaukee Stops Accidents. Washington, 1936. P. 25.
Williams, S. J., and Charters, W. W., Safety.
Company, 1940. P. 451.
New York: The Macmillan
Traffic Laws and. Enforcement
American Automobile Association, Digest of Motor Laws. 1940.
Hammond, Harold F., and Kreml, Franklin M., Traffic Engineering and the
Police. New York: National Conservation Bureau, and Evanston,
Illinois: International Association of Chiefs of Police, Safety
Division, 1958. P. 92.
International Association of Chiefs of Police, Safely Division, and North­
western University Traffic Safety Institute, Accident Prevention Bur­
eaus in Muniotpal Police Departments. Evanston, Illinois, 1957. P. 48.
________ Accident Investigators Training Manual.
P. 250.
Kreml, Franklin H.; Stiver, Donald, and Bice, Thurman, Public Safety.
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1937. P. 518.
National Conference on Street and Highway Safety, Model Traffic Ordinances.
United States Public Roads Administration, 1954, 1958.
________ Uniform Vehicle Code. Act 1, Uniform Motor Vehicle Administration
Registration Certificate of Tile and Anti-Theft Act; Act 2, Uniform
Motor Vehicle Operators and Chauffeurs License Act; Act 5, Uniform
Motor Vehicle Civil Liability Act; Act 4, Uniform Motor Vehicle Safety
Responsibility Act; Act 5, Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highway.
Washington, D. C.: United States Public Roads Administration, 1939.
National Safety Council, Enforcement for Traffic Safety.
P. 47.
Chicago, 1938.
212
________ Public Safety Memo: No. 90, Program of Traffic Law Enforcement for
Cities} No. 39, Accident Investigation Squads; No. 38, Accident Prevention
Bureau of Police Departments; No. 49, Adapting Model Municipal Traffic Ordi­
nance to lour City.
State Motor Vehicle Departments, State Police Divisions, State Highway Depart­
ments: Booklets on Traffic Rules for Drivers and Pedestrians.
United States Department of Commerce, Accident Prevention Conference, Guide for
Traffic Violators1 Schools. Washington, 1937. P. 38
Motor-Vehicle Design. Equipment. Maintenance
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and National Conservation
Bureau, Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual. Washington, D. C.: the Associa­
tion, and New lork: the Bureau, 1940. P. 123.
________ American Standard Inspection Requirements for Motor Vehicles. 1939.
P. 35.
Armand, Harry, This Tear It's Hudson! Annual Safety Review of Automobile Body
Styles. Safety Engineering. November 1940, P. 14-16.
Automobile Manufacturers, Car Owner's Manuals.
Dyke, A. L., Gasoline and Automobile Engine Encyclopedia. Chicago: Goodheart Wilcox Company, 1937. P. 1255.
Killick, Victor W., Can We Build Automobiles to Keep Drivers out of Trouble?
San Francisco: Reeves Publishing Company, 1940. P. 92.
Kuns, Ray F., Automobile Essentials. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company,
1937. P. 433.
Lauer, A. R., Motor Vision in Safe Driving. New Tork: Society for the Preven­
tion of Blindness, Inc. Reprinted from The Sight-Saving Review, Vol. VII,
No.' 3, September 1937. P. 8.
Palmer, D., and Crooks, L., Millions on Wheels. New Tork:
Vanguard Press, 1938.
Stevens, Arthur W., Highway Safety and Automobile Styling. Boston:
Christopher Publishing House, 1941. P. 155.
The
United States Interstate Commerce Commission, Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Revised. Washington, D. C.: United States Government Printing Office,
1939. P. 100.
Roadway Engineering and Design
Agg, Thomas Radford, The Construction of Roads and Pavements.
New Tork: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1940. P. 483.
(Fifth Edition)
American Association of State Highway Officials, A Policy on Criteria for
ufo-nTHry
Signing No-Passing Zones and Two- and Three-Lane Roads.
Washington, D. C., 1939. P. 17. (mimeo.)
213
A Policy on Highway Classification.
(mimeo.)
Washington, D. C., 1938.
P. 17.
P.
A Policy on Highway Types
98. (mimeo.)
P.
A Policy on Sight Distance for Highways. Washington, D. C., 1939.
39. (mimeo.)
A Policy on Intersections
(mimeo.)
(Geometric). Washington, D. C., 1939.
at Grade. Washington, D. C., 1939. P. 115.
American Automobile Association, Express Highways. Washington, D. C., 1938.
P. 8.
_________Normal Safe Approach Speeds at Intersections. Washington, D. C.,
P. 48.
American Road Builders1 Association, Report of Problem Committee on Highway
Illumination. Washington, D. C., 1939. P. 16.
American Transit Association, Designing Street Intersections for Greater Safety
and Efficiency. New lork, 1936. P. 34.
Barnett, Joseph, Traffic Design Requirements for Rural Highways. Washington,
D. C.: Public Roads Administration, 1938. P. 17.
________ Transition Curves for Highways. Washington, D. C.r U. S. Govern­
ment Printing Office, 1938. P. 211.
Bel Geddes, Norman, Magic Motorways.
New York: Random House, 1940.
P. 297.
Boston, Massachusetts, City Planning Board, Report on a Thoroughfare Plan for
Boston. Boston, 1930. P. 236.
Bruce, Arthur G.. Highway Design and Construction. Scranton, Pennsylvania: In­
ternational Textbook Company, 1937. P. 646.
Chicago, Illinois, Department of Superhighways, A Comprehensive Superhighway
Plan for the City of Chicago. Chicago, 1939. P. 96.
Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, Traffic Accident Experience. Merritt
Parkway. Hartford, 1938.
Greenshields, Bruce D., The Photographic Method of Studying Traffic Behavior.
Reprinted from Highway Research Board, Proceedings. Washington, D. C.,
1933. P. 382-396.
Kelcey, Guy, Channelization of Motor Traffic.
Engineers, Proceedings. New York, 1939.
Lauer, Alvah R., Improvement in Highway Signs.
No. 2 (April 1932), pp. 14-19.
American Society of Civil
Vol. 65, No. 10; pp. 1649-1673.
American Highways. Vol. 11,
214
Marsh, Burton W., First Engineering Steps to Improve the Traffic Situation.
Washington, D. C.: American Automobile Association, 1956. P. 14.
Michigan State Highway Department, Road Design Manual. Lansing, 1939.
P. 231 (mimeo.)
________ Street Traffic. City of Detroit. 1956-37.
P. 23L
Lansing. 1937.
Moses, Robert, Arterial Plan for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh: Regional Planning
Association, 1939. P. 26. (mimeo.)
National Conference on Street and Highway Safety, and American Association of
State Highway Officials, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for
Streets and Highways. Washington, D. C., 1937. P. 166.
National Conservation Bureau, Getting Results Through Traffic Engineering.
New York, 1939-1940. (Photo-offset; loose-leaf).
________ Traffic Survey Manual.
1939.
_________ Treating Dangerous Locations.
P. 108.
1938. P. 8.
National Safety Council, Engineering For Traffic Safety.
________ Prevention of Night Accidents
Chicago, 1937.
(Report ofCommittee).
________ Report of Special Study on Speed Zoning.
1938.
P. 32.
P. 15.
P.47.
New England Regional Planning Commission, A Highway System for New England.
Boston, 1938. P. 34.
Noble, Charles M., The Design of Express Highways. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania:
Turnpike Commission, 1938. P. 11. (mimeo.)
Regional Plan Association, Inc., The Freeway. A Modern Highway for General
Traffic in Metropolitan Areas. New York, 1956. P. 15.
Reid, Kirk M., and Chanon, H. J., Determination of Visibility on Lighted
Highways. Cleveland, Ohio: Nela Park Engineering Department, General
Electric Comoany, 1936. Reprinted from Illuminating Engineering Society
Transactions. Vol. 32, No. 2, (February 1937), pp. 187-201.
__________ Studies in Street and Highway Illumination. Schnectady, New York:
General Electric Company. Reprinted from General Electric Review. Novem­
ber and December 1935, and March 1936.
Simpson, R. E., Public Safety as Affected by Street Lighting. New York: National
Concervation Bureau, 1934. P. 15.
U. S. Public Roads Administration, Toll Roads and Free Roads: A Report on the
Feasibility of a System of Transcontinental Toll Roads and Master Plan
for Free .Highway Development. Washington, D. C.: U. S. Government Printing
Office, 1939. P. 132.
APPENDIX
A.
Notes on Field Studies in Waterbury,
Connecticut; Worcester, Massachusetts,
and Providence, Rhode Island.
B.
Examples of Accident Reduction Through
Education.
C.
Examples of Accident Reduction Through
Traffic Engineering.
216
A.
NOTES ON FIELD STUDIES
WATERBURY, CONN.
John Burrell. Chairman. Citizens Traffic Safety Committee:
What makes our program click is the cooperation between the Police Depart­
ment and the Safety Committee.
police.
We are getting 100 per cent cooperation from the
Schools are using "Man and the Motor Car" as reference.
Traffic Squad give talks to students.
Members of the
Waterbury has no schoolboy patrol, as we
feel the protection of policemen, firemen and school janitors is sufficient.
Children are more traffic conscious than adults.
Every case of accident to a
school child is brought to the attention of the Superintendent of Schools.
The cooperation of the courts has been very important.
Now the police come
in with better evidence and get more convictions.
My
advice is don’t go too fast and try to force things through.
It is better
to proceed slowly; the local man can judge which is the best pace.
Superintendent Dewey Roach. Chief of Police
James Little. Patrolman. Police Department
Captain Duggan. Police Department
The real thing is the cooperation of newspapers.
Second is radio.
People
read or hear about our program and thus are made acquainted with the aims of the
program.
If
not
the police force knows that the police head isnot interested, they will
push the program.
The Police Chief should be"heart and soul" behind it.
Some of the things the police do:
1.
Prepare one story every Saturday for newspapers.
town definitely assigns space to this story.
One paper in
The stories are
definitely tied in with holidays, Safety Week, Fourth of July,
217
winter skidding, etc.
away from figures.
Except in the monthly report, stories stay
They stress what the police do to protect cit­
izens; what you can do to protect yourself and others; praise the
citizens when a good record is hung up.
on pedestrians.
2.
Radio.
Recently there was a series
(I brought copies of some of these stories.)
Police are cooperating in putting on four radio programs
(two on Monday and two on Friday), mostly by members of the Police
Accident Squad, Superintendent Roach and Captain Duggan.
Occasion­
ally there are brief spots on the programs of news commentators.
3.
Pass out printed cards explaining signals, parking, and jay-walking.
4.
Use sound car with this difference— that the police do not single
out individuals who may be doing something wrong, but generalize
their suggestions.
5.
Talks before civic groups, schools, etc.j average of three a week
in the winter.
6.
Assign police to a playground safety program.
7.
Administer an oral pledge for drivers and pedestrians to exercise
caution.
(I brought copy of the pledge.)
8.
On Saturday night patrol is doubled; go out to curb high violations.
9.
Has best accident recording system in State, which won commendation
from Connor as an example for all Departments to follow.
10.
Put up window posters, after personal visit ty Captain.
enough posters.")
("Cant't get
218
11.
Paints numerous crosswalks.
Wags say the police are "painting
the town yellow," and this helps to get public attention.
On enforcement, Waterbury has had 100 per cent apprehension in fatal
hit-and-run cases.
In addition to the above, the police make speed studies,
selective enforcement maps, and run a motor cruiser to keep down speed.
Vincent Maloney (Waterbury Democrat)
First requirement is a Police Chief who is on the job; who will be on
the spot in every big accident and will check up on and watch his men.
Second is the publicity given to traffic court cases.
Every day the
paper prints a list of the violators and the sentence imposed.
People are
restrained when they know their names will appear in the paper.
Stephenson (Waterbury Republican-American)
Waterbury should have a 25-mile-an-hour limit.
On the eve of every holiday we print on the front page a box - very
punchy - advising "Drive with Sanity" and stressing not the horror approach
but giving danger signals and offering a few practical suggestions on how to
avoid trouble.
We also try to tell what happens in an accident, not in a legal sense
or to fix responsibility, but to let the public know what caused the accident
and what the driver was doing when the accident occurred.
We also print editorials, particularly against alcohol.
We stress the
rights of others on the highway.
Gallagher (Captain of Detectives)
•
Lieutenant Barron
Biggest factors in our success:
(l) controlled speed, (2) no fix (both
219
are interacting); (3) newspaper publicity.
Publishing names of convicted
violators proves there's no fix.
Cooperation of the State Registrar of Motor Vehicles was essential, to
revoke or suspend licenses of violators.
The fact that every accident is investigated is also important.
How was the public's attitude on speed
restriction changed?
1. By newspaper warnings long before limit was made effective.
2. Through radio talks by Mayor, Police Chief, etc.
3. Stress that respectable citizens seldom went over 25 mph in crowded city.
4. Making it clear that police was not out to persecute but to warn the
motorist.
5. By sending out letters to clergy, clubs, etc.
WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS
Alfred Marcello (Worcester Telegram)
Most important factor in successful safety program - right type of news­
paper publicity.
Why were newspapers interested?
Sold on the promise that the Police De­
partment would do a real job - that the program would not be a flash in the
pan - and there would be no fixing.
What is meant by right type of publicity?
Have to sell safety to the public
on Hollywood style - through showmanship, for instance:
A judge said to a reporter
(Marcello), "If this campaign is on the level, why don't they bring in the big
fellows besides the little ones - bring in the owners of Packards - the follows
with powerful connections."
Reporter got into a police cruiser, caught a speeder
who turned out to be the assistant district attorneyl
full account with picture front-paged the next day.
speeding, this was widely publicized.
He was photographed, a
When a cop was caught
220
Another example of right publicity: Merchants and others raised a storm
of protest complaining that because of no-fix rule their trade would go else­
where - and merchants in neighboring towns howled and ran full-page ads, "Don't
trade in Worcester - stay here."
After a meeting with the Providence Chamber
of Commerce and gleaming of Providence Experience, the Worcester Chamber of
Commerce began using the slogan, "Shop in Worcester in Safety."
The newspapers
played this up and spiked the anti-no fix forces.
Another newspaper wanted to make sure that there was no ticket fixing.
The reporter went through the summonses at random, jotting down names, and
followed these up to see if they went to court or were "fixed."
Others; Every Monday, paper publishes a box with names and dispositions
of convictions.
Are bus drivers immune from speed limit, as many motorists complain?
Again the reporter got in a cruiser car - police stopped a speeding Greyhound
bus and the next day the paper carried a photograph and story.
Playing up fact that for thirteen years there never had been a clean
record for September - in September 1938, no one was killed.
Showing that Worcester people would save $400,000 to $500,000 in insur­
ance if accident reductions brought lower rates.
Playing up desire to beat other cities in national contest.
How the safety drive was kept
alive;
1. By
publicizing safety meetings.
2. By
playing up special days, suchas Pedestrian Day.
3. By
following "so many days withoutaccidents"and
creating climax.
How to keep the Safety Committee interested;
Do not bring pressure on them - try to win their cooperation by some
of the channels indicated - "get around them," rather than "educate" them.
221
How to get public Interested:
By putting their names in the paper every time they do something of news
value.
How to educate editor to worthwhileness of supporting safety program:
1. Show him how his city stands in comparison with others.
2. Show what similar work has been accomplished in other cities.
Fahlstrom (Chamber of Commerce)
Three main reasons for success:
1. Good chairman.
2. Committee composed of many organizations, with four or five of them
as driving force in the campaign.
3. Mayor's backing.
Cooperation of police department is mighty important, as well as willingness
of Mayor, Police and group of interested citizens to work together.
Anderson (Assistant Superintendent of Schools)
A course in safety will be compulsory part of course in civics in high
schools in the fall.
By not making it elective, assurance is had
that every
pupil will have had safety before leaving school.
In teaching safety, it is important to teach local conditions.
Worcester's 25 mph. limit is best guarantee for new drivers.
A young
driver tends to show off by speeding like some of the flashy drivers he
observes, but if he sees everyone keeping within
the limit, therewill be
no temptation to try to outdo other drivers.
This should also cut down accidents in the 16-24 age group.
Sibley (Worcester Gazette)
What put the safety campaign over was publicity plus enforcement.
licity alone did not do it.
Pub­
He ran a great number of special articles and photos,
222
but "no one paid any attention."
When the police began enforcement, then
the publicity took hold, as it had a definite meaning for the public.
On the other hand, enforcement without publicity would have only made
^he public sore.
Publicity eased the way.
Walter B. Dennen. director, Worcester Boys Trade School
Traffic education course given to all, even if some will not drive because if they don't drive they can encourage others to observe safety
rules; and because they all are pedestrians.
Brennan (Motor Vehicle Registrar)
Concentrating on drunken pedestrians and drivers.
Men posted at taverns
and similar places about which complaints have been made.
Drivers and
pedestrians caught in tipsy condition are turned over to police to take home.
"We have accomplished more by taking away the license of drunken drivers
and holding until hearing than by arresting such drivers."
At request of Brennan, taverns and beer halls put up signs, "If you
^rink, don't drive.
If you drive, don't drink."
Signs supplied by liquor
people.
In some bad cases the tavern owners would drive a drunk past Brennan's
men, then let the drunk drive home while the owner went back in a cab or
some other car.
Brennan retaliated by having inspectors posted one mile
away on each side of the tavern, and stopping every motorist coming into the
section, thereby driving business away.
The tavern keeper would then cooperate
with the motor vehicle department.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
Parker. Superintendent of Police.
Main factors in success - reduction in speed (city has 25 mph limit)
and activity of police officer on the beat.
223
Police started drive on old junks - patrolmen took it upon themselves
to stop old jalopies.
Police pulling in old cars and cars with thread-bare
tires or poor brakes.
The Providence record has attracted requests from all over the country,
and from Canada, Scotland and Australia.
Eaton. Traffic Engineer
Success not due to enforcement, education or engineering entirely, but
mainly psychological, and probably as a result of a long background of effective
methods of dealing with the public.
Speed reduction alone is not all - but it helps in keeping people safety­
conscious.
Voluntary cooperation instead of force is what did it in Providence.
"To go out and arrest people because they have had an accident is ridiculous.
I think Kreml is wrong about enforcement budget and arrest index."
Of course, it
might be a good thing to have more enforcement where needed, arresting people
who lack the background for application of the psychological method.
The press did wonders in bringing about voluntary cooperation.
Albert J. Ashworth (Providence Journal and Evening Bulletin; pinch-hitting
for Managing Editor Patten)
What did it - 25 mph. limit and police vigilance.
traffic more - no increase in police, though.
Police watch automobile
Success is result of cooperation
between the police, the public and the newspapers.
Why have newspapers cooperated?
Because saving people's lives is news -
two records of 111 and 99 days without traffic death are real news.
Why does the public cooperate?
Because everybody is proud of Providence's
record - builds up civic pride.
The good record has not been the result of prosecution or force, but of
224
the good will of the public.
considerably.
Public took to it and now cooperates with police
Drivers cut down speed not through fear but willingness.
Even
19-year old boys "take it easy," in Providence.
After a death, traffic slows down "to nothing."
Journal prints black flag when there is a traffic death.
Pedestrians are pretty well trained to wait for light - jaywalking is
pretty nearly cut out.
Parking is bad, but gradually some stores are putting in parking spaces.
There is much street congestion.
225
GE T TI N G
S e r ie s 1
RESULTS
THROUGH SAFETY EDUCATION
NO. 1
SETTING
High school classroom—ninth grade.
A course in driver education has been introduced as a distinct unit in Social Science. Instruction is given one
day a week for one semester. Approximately two-thirds of the pupils in the class do not drive but they are approaching
legal driving age.
LESSON OBJECTIVE
To develop an understanding and appreciation of the necessity for traffic laws and to show the relationship
of these laws to good driving practices.
PROCEDURE
Pupils create an imaginary accident and suggest every conditioning factor that enters into the situation. In*
structor makes no recommendations but merely guides pupil suggestions and records them on the blackboard.
EXAMPLE:
A*
BC*
D-
Truck stopped on highway
Passing around truck
Swinging wide to ovoid
Came too far out onto the road
before stopping.
RESULT = B and C 1 head-on collision
DISCUSSION:
1. What are the underlying causes of this accident ?
2. What are the physical and mental conditioning factors I
3. What are the poor driving practices demonstrated ?
4. What traffic laws were violated ?
5. How could all this have been eliminated 1
OUTCOMES
1. That interest will have been stimulated through pupil participation.
2.
That traffic laws will have been learned without the drudgery of memorizing.
3. T hat knowledge will have been gained pertaining to the purpose back of the laws.
FURTHER STEPS
1.
Set up a traffic court in class. Assign pupils to represent drivers in diagram.
Issued by
Education Division
National Conservation Bureau
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
Example Contributed By
Washington High School
St. Paul, Minnesota
226
GE TT I N G
RESULTS
THROUCH SAFETY EDUCATION
S eries 1
NO. 2
HIGH SCHOOL MOTOR VEHICLE INSPECTION LANE
SETTING
The fourth annual automobile inspection lane will be opened in May for one week. Students who drive family
cars are encouraged to present the vehicles at the school inspection lane, where students enrolled in the auto-mechanic
course do the inspecting. A large percentage of students who drive family cars go through the lane.
\
(
I V
EN RO LLM EN T
STA TION
\ \J3
STOP
H E A D L IG H T S AND
A L IG N M E N T
' W HEEL
*1
:
cn
”
1
T E N T
S K ID M ARK T E S T
F O R B R A K E EQ U A LIZA TIO N
STOP » 3
STO P * 2
ca
co
G LA R E RECOVERY
TEST
R E A C T IO N
TEST
F IN A L R E P O R T
S TA TIO N
STOP * 5
T IM E
F IE L D O F V IS IO N
TEST
BR A K E
S T O PPIN G DISTA N CE
STOP * 4
SCHOOL
OBJECTIVES
To create a consciousness of the importance of motor vehicle inspection for safe operation.
To allow for practical application of knowledge acquired in auto-mechanics course.
To encourage the correction of defective conditions in cars inspected.
PROCEDURE
Headlights will be checked with photo-electric cell equipment for candle power, height of beam and lateral
beam adjustment, as required by the Minnesota Uniform Highway Traffic Act. Brakes will be tested for stopping dis­
tance with decelerometers. Equalization and wheel alignment tests will be made, and the condition of tires checked.
New features this year will include tests of reaction time, field of vision and glare recovery. Students making these
tests will explain the importance of each and refer subnormal cases to the instructor for advice. Some of the equip­
ment for these tests is being built by students enrolled in the auto-electric course.
An OK sticker, provided by the school, is placed on each car which passes the inspection. Drivers of cars
rejected are advised as to what should be repaired or adjusted.
The auto-mechanics instructor is on hand during inspection, and serious cases are referred to him.
Only occasionally do students make minor adjustments, and then at the request of the driver and under the
supervision of the instructor.
In response to requests for names of places to have repairs made, an impartial list of garages in the district is
offered.
OUTCOMES
The inspection lane not only reveals the condition of the car but offers the driver an opportunity to learn the
approximate cost of necessary repairs or adjustments.
Many students are surprised to learn how little it costs to have brakes tightened or equalized, or to have head
lamp reflectors re-silvered and lights properly focused. In most cases in which a car has been found to be defective the
owner has had repairs made and has returned for a final check.
This project has increased interest and action in keeping automobiles in safe condition.
Issued by
Example Contributed B y
Education Division,
National Conservation Bureau,
South High School
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
Minneapolis, Minn.
227
G E T T I N G
RESULTS
THROUCH SAFETY EDUCATION
S eries 1
NO. 3
MEASURES OF CONTROL FOR BICYCLE RIDING
SETTING
A program for the safe use of bicycles has been introduced in the schools through school safety club activities,
Police Department cooperation,(support from the newspaper, and cooperation of the Hartford Citizens’ Traffic Safety
Committee.
PROGRAM OBJECTIVE
To forcefully impress upon school children the fact that to ride a bicycle properly and safely on the streets and
highways they must be alert to certain responsibilities and they must obey traffic regulations.
TEACHING EXAMPLE
CASE
DISCUSSION
A—Truck traveling west
B —Passenger car traveling east close to center of street
C—Bicycle traveling east close to right hand curb.
Bicycle suddenly turns left, headed for a side street.
1. Underlying cause of accident
Result: Collision B and C. Passenger car hits bicycle
because bicycle cut back in front of it.
2. How could it have been avoided?
3. W hat were the unsafe practices of the bicyclist?
4. W hat traffic regulations were violated?
PROCEDURE
1. Police report bicycle violations to the Department of Education.
2. Department of Education reports case to school where pupil is enrolled and to parents.
3. School safety discussion groups—actual cases as well as hypothetical bicycle violations are illustrated and
discussed.
4. Instructor guides discussion and endeavors to build proper attitudes toward safe bicycle riding.
5. Voluntary registration system is being experimented with in some schools.
OUTCOMES
1. An interest and willingness to abide by bicycle riding regulations.
2. A n alertness to dangerous conditions—especially night riding—and the development of sensible riding habits.
3. A n understanding of personal responsibilities and an appreciation of the importance of courteous actions while
riding.
Issued by
Example Contributed B y
Education Division
National Conservation Bureau,
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
Supervisor of Safety Education
Hartford, Conn.
228
GE TT I N G
RESULTS
THROUCH SAFETY EDUCATION [ ~
S eries 1
NO. 4
DEVICE FOR TESTING FIELD OF VISION
SETTING
High school safety class that is beginning the study of the physical qualifications of drivers.
LESSON OBJECTIVES
1. To aid in the understanding of tunnel vision and its relation to
automobile driving.
2.
To encourage the students to examine their own qualifications.
a
PROCEDURE
The examinee should be seated with the device slightly below the
level of his eyes. He should be instructed to look straight ahead at the
printed card mounted at the center of the apparatus. A small object, such
as a pencil, should be held at the outer end of the movable arm by the
examiner at the highest possible scale reading. He should then begin
moving it from a position beyond the 90° point, slowly toward the center
of the baseboard. The arm should be stopped when the student being
tested states that he can see the object moving. The number of degrees
the arm has been moved by the operator should be recorded. This procedure should be repeated for the opposite side of the testing device to complete the individual test. The range of
subject's field of vision is the sum of the two recorded readings.
Diagram for Making Testing Device
Degree Graduations
Slotted Holder
for printed card
Base of £ inch
3ply veneer
Movable Arms pivpted at
■aaUa
—jfrv# J v i V
\
Braces
mounted to permit
_ free movement '
of arm .
A = Reenforcement Braces
TOP VIEW
48
BOTTOM VIEW
EXPECTED OUTCOMES
1. A stimulated interest in driver limitations with respect to field of vision.
2. An increased awareness of individual limitations.
IssuedB y
Example Contributed B y
Education Division
National Conservation Bureau,
60 John Street, New Yotk, N . Y.
Southern Illinois State Normal School
Carbondale, 111.
229
GETTING
series
i
RESULTS
| THROUGH SAFETY 1 P U C A T IO N |
SSI
OBSERVING SAFETY IN INDUSTRY
S E T T IN G
A small high school in an industrial community close to a large metropolitan area. The course in commercial
geography offered in the tenth grade includes visits to several industrial plants.
O B JEC T IV ES
To develop an understanding and appreciation of:
1. The responsibility of industry for the safety of the worker.
2. The responsibility of the worker in cooperating with the employer.
3. The wide range of provisions regarded as safety measures.
PR O C E D U R E :
In class discussion of safety in industry, observations made during the visit are discussed. Students make reports of
significant points relating to safety procedures and often prepare drawings to illustrate some of their observations.
Some of the specific operations looked for are:
1. Lighting, machine guards, floor covering, fire alarms, stairways, general building maintenance and equip'
mertt inspection.
2. Special gloves, shoes, uniforms worn by the workers.
3. Educational program: Safety committee activities, posters for interdepartment contests, and use ofaccident
records.
E X PE C T E D O U T C O M E S
1. That pupils may develop a critical attitude toward the relation of safety to industrial efficiency.
2. That through their observations they may be able to transfer the place and importance of safety into all
walks of life.
Issued By
Example Contributed B y
Education Division
National Conservation Bureau,
H illside H ig h S chool
60 John Street, New York, N . Y.
H illside, N . J.
230
GE T TI N G
SERIES 1
RESULTS
THROUCH SAFETY EDUCATION
NO. 6
THE MEANING OF ROAD SIGNS
S E T T IN G
A class in driver education.
O B JE C T IV E S
To develop in the students an understanding of the meaning of road signs and thus increase their ability as intelli'
gent and efficient drivers.
E X A M PL E S A N D E X P L A N A T IO N S
1.
Shield
“GUIDE"
2.
State
"GUIDE”
3. O ctagon
“STOP”
4. Circle
“W A RN IN G "
5. H orizontal
R ectangle
Used to designate national highways. Generally carries two
points of information: (1) The upper portion designates the
state, and (2) the lower portion has the letters “U.S.” and the
number of the route. Background is white; messages are black.
Designates state routes only. Takes on shape of state it is
to serve. Varies in information it carries, as (1) the name of the
state is written across the top in some states and (2) the number
of the route is always on the sign. Background is white; mes­
sage in black.
Designates the following: Dangerous comer — Through traffic
—Stop street—Trunk line junction, etc. Background is yellow;
message black or red.
Used some distance in advance of a railroad. Background is
yellow; message is black.
Varies in width in accordance with information it carries, as:
Destination — Location — Information — Auxiliary uses.
“DIRECTIONS"
6
. V ertical
Rectangle
Used for parking restrictions, turning, speed, signal warnings,
etc. This sign is standard in size — 12 inches by 18 inches.
“REGULATORY”
7. Square
“C A U TIO N "
8
. D iamond
“SLOW”
9. Crossbuck
“W ARN IN G "
Used as a caution sign near schools, hospitals, road repairs,
T and Y road intersections, etc. Background is yellow; message
is black.
Indicates a decreasing of your speed for the following: Curve
— Turn — Hill — Narrow bridge — Loose gravel — Pavement
ends — Begin detour — Soft shoulder — Dangerous curves —
Dangerous comer.
Used at railroad crossings only. Message is in black on a
white background.
PR O C ED U R E
Draw signs on classroom blackboard for students to copy. Give explanations of each sign, having students take
notes. Test within a few days.
EXPECTED O U T C O M E S
1. That the students may grasp the significance of each sign's shape and specific information.
2. That, learning the signs by sight, the students will obey them through action.
luued By
Example Contributed By
Education Division
-Northern Illinois
National Conservation Bureau
State Teachers College
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
Dekalb, III.
231
GETTING
S eries 1
RESULTS
THROUGH SAFETY EDUCATION
NO. 7
S E T T IN G
Twelfth grade high school class in driver education. Discussion at this point in the course is centered around
avoiding highway accidents by early recognition of possible hazards.
L ESSO N O B JE C T IV E
To train students' power of observation. 90% of the hazards we meet in driving are avoided by observing them
early before they become critical or really dangerous.
T E A C H IN G E X A M PL E
Two boys were coming home from a dance after midnight in the family car, traveling on a fairly open suburban
road at 35 to 40 miles per hour. They passed a roadhouse. Suddenly a drunken driver shot out of a parking space,
which was concealed by the building and a lighted sign. There was a collision, and both boys were seriously injured.
9
C LA SS D IS C U S S IO N
Negligence, even in such a one-sided accident, was shared by both parties. Skilled observation combined with
knowledge of normal hazards and anticipation of probable human behavior could have easily prevented this accident.
The driver should have observed critical and important factors early. He should not have expected the best or the
safest performance from others.
Always expect the possible error. A roadhouse is licensed to sell drinks. People normally drink liquor there, and
some drink too much. W hen in this state, they may drive with reckless speed and disregard for others. The observance
of garish lights, confused movement, music or loud talk and laughter along a road or street, particularly at night, should
be an instant warning of possible hazard. Reckless, uncontrolled driver or pedestrian behavior should be guarded against
under such circumstances. Attention should be sharpened and speed reduced.
Questions to bring out the above points:
(a) Legally the drunken driver was entirely to blame, but was the accident preventable without in any way alter­
ing his actions?
(b) A t what distance might the boys have recognized that this was a roadhouse?
(c) A t 25 miles per hour would the boys have avoided the drunken driver?
(d) Suggest other cases where early observation of normal hazards would prevent trouble.
C O N C L U S IO N
A great number of so-called “unavoidable" accidents (claimed unavoidable by the innocent driver) can be avoided
by that driver if he anticipates the probable faulty behavior of the other party and wisely observes where and when
these errors are likely to occur.
Two skill factors are involved:
(1) Trained anticipation of normal human behavior (drunk or sober).
(2) Trained observation of the critical occasions where such hazards may occur.
/titledBy
Education Division
National Conservation Bureau
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
Example Contributed By
Wcequahic High School
Newark, N. J.
232
GE TT I N G
S eries 1
RESULTS
THROUGH SAFETY EDUCATION
NO. 8
THE HIGH SCHOOL PARKING LOT
SETTING
It has become necessary to establish a system for student parking at East Orange High School. An increasingly
large number of student drivers are using the parking lot. The entrance to the lot is a narrow driveway used by pews'
trian students. The principal was quick to sense the seriousness of the situation and delegated a faculty member to
determine what could be done to improve the existing conditions.
OBJECTIVES
To create a consciousness of the importance of more careful driving when entering or leaving the parking lot.
To make students aware of the hazards they were creating when they walked in and out of the driveway provided for cars.
To create more respect for our neighbors’ rights by using the parking lot instead of the public highway for all
day parking during school hours.
PROCEDURE
A small committee of students, known as the Automobile Committee, has been formed for the purpose of
studying the problem and devising ways and means for solving it. A Safe Driving Pledge has been drawn up. All
student drivers who apply for a parking permit are asked to sign this pledge.
Safe Driving Pledge
In the interest of accident prevention and safety on the highways and in cooperation with the East Orange
High School Safety Council, I am making the following pledge:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
To drive sanely and on my own side of the road.
To avoid passing cars on curves or hills.
To know the traffic laws and obey them.
To be particularly watchful for pedestrians
stepping between parked cars into the line of
traffic.
To give pedestrians the right of way when mak­
ing right or left turns.
To learn proper hand signals and give them at
all times, even when leaving the curb from a
parked position.
To refrain from reckless driving and avoid being
a show-off.
To be a courteous driver at all times.
E A S T O R A N G E HIGH S C H O O L
S a f e t y c o u n c il
E A ST O R A N G E. N . J.
This certifies that
IS COOPERATING WITH THE SAFETY COUNCIL OF
EAST ORANGE HIGH SCHOOL, AND HAS SIGNED
THE SAFE DRIVING PLEDGE.
Car No....................... Driver’s License No...................................
President, Genera! Organization
Accompanying the pledge are numbered identification cards. Any student failing to secure such a card is denied
the use of the parking field. Cars are checked every day, and any student who parks without securing a permit is given
but one warning before action is taken against him. Cars on the street are also checked in order to discover whether
any students are avoiding the necessity of securing permits.
OUTCOMES
cards.
Students have surprised the principal and the faculty by displaying an eagerness to secure parking identification
The older students have realized that parking in the lot is far more sportsmanlike than parking in front of a
neighbor's house all day.
All student cars are off the streets in the vicinity of the school.
Students have become more interested in the legal aspects of the problem and now resent careless driving on
the part of high school student drivers.
Neighbors have had a much better attitude toward students since they have had ample space to park their own
cars on the street in front of their homes.
Issued B y
Education Division
National Conservation Bureau
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
Example Contributed By
East Orange High School
East Orange, N. J.
233
GETTING
RESULTS
TH RO UG H SA FE T Y E D U C A T IO N
YOUR CAR AND YOU
SETTING
A high school class in driver education.
OBJECTIVE
To show the correlation between the nature of a driver and the actions of his automobile, stressing the relation­
ship between how a driver feels and how he drives.
TEACHABLE TOPICS
1. Your car is an extension of you. Your physical and emotional condition carries over into the action of your
car.
2. Your personality is often expressed through your driving. If you lose your self control, the ontrol of your
car is lost; if you are fatigued, your car is “fatigued” ; if you are nervous, your car is “nervvus” ; if you are
skillful, your car will perform skillfully.
3. You don’t drive your car with the steering wheel, the gas pedal, or the clutch. You drive it with your whole
personality.
CONCLUSIONS D RA W N
Driving a car may be made analogous to performance in athletics. Both are games of skill, both require mastery
of fundamentals, both involve a force of interest which requires methods of control to achieve harmonious results.
Therefore:
1. W hat you are may well determine how you drive.
2. Self control is the first prerequisite for controlling your automobile.
3. Knowing what to expect from your opponents in sports means more skilled performance; knowing what to
expect from other drivers (who may also be your opponents) means skillful driving, more self confidence
and steadiness of nerve.
4. Get right with yourself, get right with your car, and get right with the people you meet on wheels.
Prepared and Issued B y
EDUCATION DIVISION
NATIONAL CONSERVATION BUREAU
60 JOHN STREET, NEW YORK CITY
234
o. G E T T I N G
RESULTS
T H R O U G H T R A F F I C E N G I N E E R I N G [”
NO. 5
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 5
SIGNAL STANDARDIZATION CUTS ACCIDENTS
PR O B L E M : Lincoln W ay W est and W illiam Street was the second most dangerous comer in South Bend, Indiana, in 1936 and
1937. The fact that Lincoln W ay W est services also as U. S. Route
20,
carrying much through traffic, aggravated the situation
AFTER
BEFORE
A C C ID E N T F A C T S — In a 23 months' period prior to improvement, forty-three accidents had occurred at the intersection—
one fatal, nine injury and thirty-three property damage, costing an estimated total of $14,350. All the accidents occurred while
the traffic signals were in operation; thirty were right-angle crashes. A majority involved out-of-town motorists traveling on
Lincoln W ay W est (U. S.
2 0 ),
and were the result o f "running" the red light and crashing into vehicles traveling on W illiam
Street.
FIELD STUDIES —Observation revealed that the signals at this intersection were of a non-standard two lens types, located
on makeshift poles six inches below the minimum standard height, and that there was one signal facing for each direction. Over
1 0 ,0 0 0
vehicles went through this intersection on an average 12-hour day. Lincoln Way W est, 52 feet-wide, carried 72% o f the
total volume, and W illiam Street, 40 feet wide, the remaining 28%.
SOLUTION —The traffic signals were changed from a two lens to a standard three lens, raised six inches and placed on
standard signal posts. An additional signal face was installed for each approach. The cost o f the improvement was less than $900.
C H E C K B A C K —In a twenty-three month period following standardization and improvement o f the signals, accidents were
cut to three personal injury and twenty-one property damage, a total o f 24. This represented a 44% overall reduction from the
corresponding period before the situation was corrected. Right-angle collisions registered an even larger drop— 5 3 % . T he total
saving, after writing off the entire cost o f improvements, is placed at $11,500.
Iuued by
Examptm Contributed B y
Ernest H . MOkr
Traffic Division
G ty Traffic ITngjnwr
National Conservation Bureau
S on* Bend, ImB—
60 John Street, New York, N . Y.
Junior Member, Institute of Traffic Engineers
235
GETTING
RESULTS
T H R O U G H TRAFFIC ENGINEERING I
NO. 6
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 6
IMPROVED ISLANDS AND SIGNALS REDUCE ACCIDENTS
PROBLEM—In North Attleborough, Massachusetts, the junction of Washington Street (Route 1 N orth), the
By-Pass around the business area, Park Street (Route 1A), and Elmwood Street, although signalized, was the loca­
tion of many collisions.
BEFORE
AFTER
ia
W M H IIIO T O rf
24 ACCIDENTS
S t - fc o u tl I
I ACCIDENT
ACCIDENT FACTS—In 62 months there were 22 accidents with 42 injuries. The accidents were about evenly
divided between dayb'ght and darkness, and fourteen were of the-rear-end type.
FIELD STUDIES—Field observations indicated that the accident record could be attributed to the large pavement
area, approximately 105 feet by 190 feet, poor channeUzing facilities, and turning movements at several locations
within the intersection. Volume counts revealed that about 12,000 vehicles passed through this intersection daily.
Route 1 (Washington Street North and 1 - 1A South) carried approximately 8,000 vehicles, while the other three
approaches combined carried the remaining 4,000 vehicles (Washington Street South, Park Street North and Elm­
wood Street East). The largest left turning movement, 3102 vehicles, was from Washington Street (North) into
Route 1 - 1A (South).
SOLUTION—The open area of the intersection proper was reduced by extending a peninsula between Park Street
and the north leg of Washington Street, thus confining all turning and cross-movements to a small area opposite
Elmwood Street. Traffic actuated signals with a simple layout supplanted the original complicated system of pretimed signals. These improvements cost approximately $5 ,100, including signal changes.
CHECK BACK—After 34 months following the change, only one accident was reported, and that colbsion was
outside the Emits of the intersection on a minor approach. This improvement is probably attributable to definite
channelization and to the fact that motorists are now reasonably sure of the paths of vehicles in opposing movements.
Itsued by
Example Contributed By
Edgar F. Copell. Traffic Engineer
Traffic Division
Department of Public Works
National Conservation Bureau
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
60 John Street, New York, N . Y.
100 Nashua Street, Boston, Mass.
236
GETTING
RESULTS
TH RO UGH TRAFFIC ENGINEERING
NO. 13
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 13
STEEL ROAD DIVIDER ELIMINATES ACCIDENTS, SAVES LIVES
PROBLEM:
Ramona Boulevard, a four-lane highway leading out of the City of Los Angeles downtown area, experienced many
serious accidents. Because this highway is bounded on one side by the Pacific Electric tracks and on the other by very
high hills, it was not possible to provide a wide neutral center zone. Furthermore, this method would have been very
expensive and would have taken a long time because of delayed condemnation proceedings. Three “S” turns and blind
curves make this highway particularly dangerous.
BEFO RE
AFTER
58 PERSONAL INJI
ACCIDENTS
8 KILI
NO ACCIDENTS
ACCIDENTS FACTS:
Fifty-eight personal injury accidents, killing eight and injuring sixty-nine persons, were reported in three years and four
months prior to improvements. Most of the serious accidents were caused by head-on collisions, sideswiping and driv­
ing into bridge abutments.
FIELD STUDIES:
Field investigations revealed that because of lack of vehicular cross-traffic, speeds on Ramona Boulevard were quite high,
averaging between 45 and 50 miles per hour. A number of bridges over the road rest partially on pillars at the center
line and these pillars have contributed to the accident history.
SOLUTION:
A 3,000 foot strip of this four-lane highway was divided
by installing back to back two roadside guard rails at hub
cap height in twelve-foot sections on the straightaway and
ten-foot sections on curves. The rails are 12" wide, convex
in shape and fastened to spring steel brackets bolted to
posts just above the ground level, allowing for quick and
economical replacements or repairs of damaged sections.
T o safeguard against any danger to night traffic, blinker
fights were installed every 100 feet, the inside of the con­
vex rail providing for an easy installation of the electric
cable and of the bracket for the lights themselves. Also
to provide for greater visibility at night the rail was
painted with alternating black and white stripes, the white
portion being covered with minute crystal light reflecting
particles.
VSpol&
Rood Divider. Total width roqubod to ! • • • (has too ■
i p a n o e e u p M by doublo
white coator m arkon. High toaoUo ttroayth pooto etxoi aachorod i s coacrote
CHECK BACK:
During the one year and five months period after this medial strip was installed, no accidents had been reported.
Ittuod by
ExampU Contribut'd By
Traffic Division
Ralph T. Dorsey
National Con.erv.tion B nr«u
City T«ffic Engineer
Los Angeles, C at
Member, Institute of Traffic Engineers
60 John Street, New York,N . Y.
237
GETTI NG
'
RESULTS
[THROUGH TRAFFIC iN G IN iE R IN G |
No. j
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 14 — PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND SAFETY
IN CONNECTION W ITH A STREET RAILWAY TERMINAL
PROBLEM: A stub-end street railway terminal used by 342 cars daily was badly congested. Minor accidents, most
of which involved street cars, occurred once every 6 days, on an average. These accidents, together with frequent
traffic snarls, made regularity of service impossible on a line serving over 80,000 people per day.
FIELD STUDY: Analysis showed that a secondary retail district had inspired angle parking in the last two blocks
on the line, as shown on the stip map below.
PARKING BEFORE
A study was made for the local businessmen which revealed that the average merchant had the use of only 1.15
curb parking spaces on Grand Avenue, even with angle parking. It was shown that 8 per cent of the total vehicles
parked, most of which were owned by merchants and their employees, violated the 90'minute parking limit. This
small group, however, occupied 40 per cent of the total space-hours used.
SOLUTION: The businessmen worked out a parking plan which was a compromise between “all angle" parking and
strictly legal (parallel) parking. This modified parking plan was put into effect on January 9, 1939. To offset the
18 per cent reduction in parking capacity self'discipline to reserve all curb space for customers was recommended to
all business men who drove to work in their own vehicles.
CHECK BACK: The elimination of congestion which followed is best measured by the accident record as shown in the
table below. In sections where parallel parking was established, number of accidents fell 71 per cent. “W hat might have
been" is indicated by the fact that accidents in the section where angle parking was retained went up 60 per cent.
INFLUENCE ON NUMBER OF VEHICULAR ACCIDENTS OF A CHANGE
IN TYPE OF PARKING INSTALLED JANUARY 9, 1939
T m o a tP w M —
Sntioct
M on
A
B
C
D
E
60°
60°
60°
60°
60°
Angle
Angle
Angle
Angle
Angle
Total
Weighted Average
A h«r
60° Angle)
30° Angle}
Parallel
Parallel )
30° Angle}
Num bor a t VoMcnlor
Accident* B ih w u
J n .9 a d D K .J I
19M
19K
C h i—1
8
2
60.0% Increase
7
48
14
70.8% Decrease
60
24
5
71.5% Decrease
60.0 '/i Decrease
Iu u e d by
ExampU Contribatad By
Traffic Division
Wm. R. McConochie
Traffic Engineer
Chicago Surface Line*
Member, Institute of Traffic Engineer*
National Conservation Bureau
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
238
GETTING
RESULTS
TH RO UG H TRAFFIC ENGINEERING [
No. 15
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 15
CHANNELIZING ISLANDS REDUCE ACCIDENTS
PROBLEM: The intersection of Lakeshore Avenue with East 18th Street, Athol Avenue and 2nd Avenue, was one
with excessive open space. A small circular island had been left there apparently for its esthetic value, but traffic
moved in both directions around it, causing congestion and accidents.
10 - ACCIDENTS
ACCIDENT FACTS: During 1937 there were 10 accidents with three personal injuries. Seven of the accidents
were right-angle collisions.
FIELD STUDIES: Observation of the traffic pattern indicated that due to the large expanse of pavement, drivers
were often confused as to the probable action of others. Traffic volume studies showed that approximately 22,000
vehicles entered this intersection daily, nearly one half of which were making turns into or out of Lakeshore Avenue.
SOLUTION: Channelizing islands were constructed in such a manner that traffic movements were directed and con­
fined in the proper channels. See “After” diagram below. Construction was made possible by use of W .P A . labor.
The cost of materials and supervision was $2,500. A small portion of City Park property was used to allow the neces­
sary area for traffic movement.
AFTER
LAKE
A'-AnC C ID E N T
CHECK BACK: Construction was completed during 1938. The accident record for 1939 showed only one accident
at this location, with traffic volume 10% greater than in 1937.
Issued
by
Traffic Division
National Conservation Bureau
60 John Street, New York, N . Y.
ExampU Contributed By
Frank C. Myers
Acting Traffic Engineer
City of Oakland
California
Associate Member, Institute of Traffic Engineers
239
GE T TI N G
[through
RESULTS
t r a f f ic
b n g i n i i r i n g
]
n TTJ
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 16
ACCIDENT REDUCTION THROUGH PEDESTRIAN CONTROL
PROBLEM: A serious accident situation, due to the promiscuous and uncontrolled “jay-walking" of pedestrians was resulting in a
large number of personal injury accidents along a one-block section of State Street in the business district of Schenectady, New York.
ACCIDENT FACTS: Fifty-three personal
injury accidents, including one fatality,
were reported over a period of three years
prior to improvements. A majority of these
accidents were caused by pedestrians at­
tempting to cross in mid-block areas.
BEFORE
[as m o n t h
re m o o )
FIELD STUDIES: Observation revealed
that the existing signals were inadequate
for the proper coordination of pedestrian
and vehicle movement, and no regulation
prohibited the free use of the mid-block
section for crossing. Crosswalk lines were
either missing or inadequate and parking
was permitted too near the intersections.
A volume study showed a total of 6599
53 P E R S O N A L IN JU R Y A C C I D E N T S
vehicles eastbound and 8624 vehicles west­
I FA TA L
bound on State Street, between the two
intersections, during a fourteen hour per­
iod. Pedestrian volume, based on one-hour counts, showed an average md-afternoon concentration of 2883 on the north side of State
Street, and 2278 on the south side of State Street, traveling between
t - . j intersections.
SOLUTION: New traffic lights providing a “Walk" signal were put into operation at the two intersections shown in the diagram.
Signs were erected on poles at the mid-block locations, directing pedestrians to “Cross Only at Crossings". Existing crosswalk lanes
were widened, new lanes were provided and Stop lines were painted back of the crosswalk. Parking was restricted for a greater dis­
tance from the intersections and special laning was provided on Jay Street for right and left turns in order to clear a greater volume
of traffic out of this street in a shorter interval of time. This was necessary due to the addition of the pedestrian interval in the new
traffic lights. Officers were stationed initially at the midblock location to direct pedestrians to cross at the intersection, but in a short
time were removed due to excellent cooperation by the public. Officers were also assigned to the intersections for a period from 6:00 P.M.
to 9:00 P.M. to replace regular traffic officers going off duty. The total cost of the improvements in this area was estimated at $1500.
PERSONAL INJURY ACCIDENTS
AFTER
( t m onth m n o
AFTER
(FULL TCA* )
I9 S T
P E D E S T R IA N
(P . I.)
A LL O T H E R
( P . I.)
5
P E R S O N A L IN JU R Y A C C ID E N T S
MCLUDtNv ONE FATALITY
CHECK BACK: In a nine months period following the improvements there were only five personal injury accidents, of which two in­
volved pedestrians. This indicates a 69% reduction in accidents over an average nine months period of each of the previous three years.
Issued By
Example Contributed By
Traffic Division
Fred W. Fisch, Director,
National Conservation Bureau,
Bureau of Traffic and City Planning,
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
City of Schenectady, N. Y.
240
GETTING
RESULTS
TH R O U G H TRAFFIC EN G IN EER IN G
NO. 17
T R A F F IC S IT U A T IO N N o. 17— S E M I-A C T U A T E D S IG N A L S W I T H
P E D E S T R IA N P U S H B U T T O N S D E C R E A S E A C C ID E N T S
PROBLEM: Owing to the concentration of pedestrians at a school crossing and playground area, the intersection of
School Street and 6th Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, had become a serious accident problem.
P^BEFORE
AFTER
<SA5 '
STATION
VvSX X
12 PERSONAL
4 PERSONAL
INJURY ACCIDENTS
HJURV ACCIDENTS
ACCIDENT FACTS: In a period of 2 years and 7 months prior to improvement there had occurred 12 personal injury
accidents, 11 of which are shown in the “Before" diagram. Six of these involved pedestrians. Of the six pedestrian acci­
dents, five occurred at night, clearly indicating the need for traffic regulation that should be visible after dark as well
as in daylight hours.
FIELD STUDIES: Observation and statistical analysis showed
definite need for control of pedestrian and vehicular movement
across heavily traveled 6th Avenue. In addition, studies were made
for re-routing street-cars making left turns into School Street as a
means of further relieving congestion at the intersection. Volume
counts, as shown by flow diagram at right, indicated a total of 8400
cars passing through the intersection in a twelve-hour period from
7 A.M. to 7 P.M. on an average week day. Pedestrians, number­
ing 2550, crossed at this intersection in a similar period.
SOLUTION: Semi-actuated signals with pedestrian push buttons
were installed on each comer. Treadles were placed on School
Street so that the signals would normally favor the heavier volume of traffic on 6th Avenue. Street-cars makingleft
turns at this intersection were replaced by buses, which in turn were re-routed over another street. Street-cars on 6th
Avenue were removed and replaced by trolley buses which could swing close to the curb to take on or discharge
passengers. The taxi stand on School Street was removed to allow better visibility near the intersection.
CHECK BACK: In a 2 year and 9 month period following improvements there were only
dents, none involving pedestrians. This indicates a reduction of 6656 '/<.
Issued By
Traffic Division,
National Conservation Bureau,
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
4 personal injuryacci­
Example Contributed By
HARRY E. STEDMAN,
Traffic Engineer,
City of Des Moines, Iowa.
Associate Member, Institute of Traffic Engineers.
241
GETTING
RESULTS
TH R O U G H TRAFFIC ENGINEERING
NO. 18
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 18—CONGESTION ELIMINATED
PROBLEM:
The intersection of Main Street, Bank Street and Commercial Place was one of the most troublesome in down'
town Norfolk, Virginia. Because of the existing horse trough, traffic was forced to keep to the right of the monument
in order to go up Bank Street. The situation was further complicated by the fact that Bank Street and Pnmmgrrial
Place are part of an important east-west federal highway, the latter leading to the ferries operating between Norfolk
and Portsmouth.
AFTER
BEFORE
STREET
XTRECT
MAIN
«=£>
■OTEi Afro n t IndlcatR
M ucllon of traffic flow,
M t p m n M t wiorhtof t .
c u t kock.
9
ACCIDENTS
THRU NT
5
ACCIDENTS
M SEC. (jw
THRU
ACCIDENT FACTS:
In 1939, prior to completion of the reconstructed intersection in November, there had occurred 9 personal
injury accidents, 1 involving a pedestrian.
FIELD STUDIES:
Volume counts showed that traffic flow was approximately equal in all directions, but the inconvenience of left
turns around the monument resulted in a tie-up for a quarter of a mile during peak periods. Time for northbound
vehicles moving through the intersection from Commercial Place was about 45 seconds at 11 K)0 A M ., and was as
high as ten or fifteen minutes at the peak hours. The time for westbound traffic on Main Street was approximately
25 seconds.
SOLUTION:
By routing traffic to the left of the monument, the situation was remedied. The horse trough was removed, two
channelizing islands were built as shown, and two additional traffic lights were installed. In order to route traffic into
the proper lanes, a large directional sign was placed a short distance south of the intersection on Commercial Place.
The total cost of the installation was about $1200, which included the moving of various City fixtures.
CHECK BACK:
In the eight months following improvements there have been only 5 accidents, 1 involving a pedestrian. This
shows a reduction of 441/ 2 %. In addition, the time for northbound traffic from Commercial Place has been reduced
to thirteen seconds, taken at 11 .-00 A.M., and time for westbound traffic on Main Street has been reduced to fifteen
seconds.
issued By
Example Contributed By
Traffic Division,
Fenton G. Jordan, Jr., Assistant Engineer,
National Conservation Bureau,
Sergeant J. J. Callahan, Director of Traffic Survey,
60 John Street, New York, N . Y.
City of Norfolk, Virginia.
242
GETTING
RESULTS
T H R O U G H TR A FFIC EN G IN E ER IN G
NO. 19
T R A F F IC S IT U A T IO N N o . 19 — R O A D S U R F A C E T R E A T M E N T A N D
SPE E D C O N T R O L E L IM IN A T E SK ID A C C ID E N T S
PROBLEM:
The intersection of a railroad with Virginia Street in Gary, Indiana, had been the scene of many injury acci­
dents for a considerable period of time. The intersection was located on an S-curve.
AFTER
CURVE
V,
•.'V*,
I8
ACCIDENTS
f : 4 ACCIDENTS
ACCIDENT FACTS:
In a five-month period prior to improvement, 8 accidents of the same general type indicated that earlier efforts
had not reduced the hazard at this location.
FIELD STUDIES:
Virginia Street is a main north and south artery, as it is one of three routes from the residential district to the
“mill district” . There are four daily peak traffic periods at this location, three of which are due to mill shift time.
Because of the smoothness of the road surface, tires skidded on the curves when vehicles traveled at speeds greater
than 14 miles per hour. Earlier efforts to eliminate this hazard had resulted in the installation of two curve signs and
two battery operated R.R. warning blinkers, as well as the bell and “bulls eye” blinkers for the railroad crossing. One
curve sign was located more than 500 feet from the curve.
SOLUTION:
The two curve signs were re-located to a point 150 feet in advance of each curve and stated-speed signs of
13 miles per hour were placed on the same standards with them. The pavement surface was slightly chipped with a
star-drill air hammer for a tonsidcrable distance each side of the railroad tracks. The total cost of the improvement
was approximately $ 34
CHECK BACK:
In six months following the improvement there were only 4 accidents, one of which was caused by skidding
on ice. This indicates a reduction of 50'X. Skidding accidents are almost entirely eliminated by improvement of the
road surface and reduced speeds.
lamed By
Example Contributed By
Traffic Division,
Taylor D. Lewis, Traffic Engineer,
National Conservation Bureau,
City of Gary, Indiana.
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
Junior Member, Institute of Traffic Engineers
243
GETTING
RESULTS
T H R O U G H TR A FFIC ENG INEER IN G
NO. 2!
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 21
SPEED ZONING AND PROPER SIGN PLACEMENT ELIMINATE ACCIDENTS
PROBLEM:
A t the intersection of US 60 and US 169 on the eastern edge of Nowata, Oklahoma, motorists were disre­
garding the existing traffic regulations, largely because the signs were too numerous and improperly placed.
BEFORE >
1 2 ACCIDENTS
AFTER
NO ACCIDENTS
ACCIDENT FACTS:
In a one and one-half year period prior to the installation of the present improvements there were 12 personal
injury and property damage accidents at this intersection. Most of these accidents were caused by motorists ignoring
the STOP signs.
FIELD STUDIES:
Observation revealed that 12 signs were used to regulate the flow of traffic. A four-way STOP sign suspended
in the center of the intersection consisted of a box constantly illuminated, with the word STOP in red facing all flows
of traffic. This sign was supplemented by STOP signs at all four comers, and these in turn were supplemented by
four additional STOP signs placed approximately SO feet in advance of the other signs. Only 4 of these 12 STOP
signs conformed to the standard set by the American Association of State Highway Officials in the “Manual on Uni­
form Traffic Control Devices” . A check was made on each approach to the intersection to determine the actual
approach speeds. This study revealed that 85 % of the motorists were travelling at or below speeds indicated in the
sketch above. A 24-hour volume count was made to determine the approximate flow of traffic. This count showed an
average of 4754 vehicles using US 169 and 2366 using US 60. Filling stations on the northeast and southeast comers
partially obstructed driver vision. The distance of these stations from the centerlines of the highways is indicated
on the sketch.
SOLUTION:
The speed checks and volume counts showed that it was only necessary to halt the traffic flow on one highway,
and that a definite limitation should be placed on the speed of traffic approaching along the major highway. All of the
STOP signs were removed, with the exception of two of the standard type signs located on US 60. Standard STOP
SIGN AHEAD signs were placed at points 500 feet in advance of these signs. On US 169 a 35 M PH speed zone, in
conjunction with a SLOW JUNCTION 1000 FT. warning-type sign, was established. The total cost of the improve­
ment at this intersection was approximately $130.
CHECK BACK:
In a one-year period following the above improvements there have been no accidents at this intersection. This
record is attributable to the speed zoning and to the proper placement and standardization of the signs.
Istued By
Traffic Division,
National Conservation Bureau,
60 John Street, New York, N . Y.
Example Contributed B y
Richard L. Burton, Traffic Engineer
Department of Public Safety
State of Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Okla.
244
G E TT I N G
RESULTS
T H R O U G H T R A F F IC E N G IN E E R IN G
NO. 2 2
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 22
RELOCATION OF STREETCAR STOP SAVES $8,000
PROBLEM:
A t the intersection of “A ” and “B” streets there were a number of serious and costly accidents, largely because
the southbound streetcar stop on “B” street was improperly located.
BEFORE
////
AR S T O P
AFTER
CAR
F
10 A C C ID E N T S
2 A C C ID E N T S
ACCIDENT FACTS:
In a three year period prior to improvement there were 10 right-angle collisions at this intersection, 8 involving southbound streetcars on “B” street and eastbound motor vehicles on “A ” street. The cost of these accidents was
$8,000. In every case witnesses and principals disagreed regarding the color indication of the traffic signal at the time
the accident occurred.
FIELD STUDIES:
“A ” street is a major thoroughfare leading from suburban areas into the downtown business district, obtaining
some of its heavy traffic volume from "B” street. There is a heavy left turn movement of eastbound traffic from " A "
street into “B” street, which is protected from westbound traffic on “A ” street by a left turn signal phase. In order not
to interfere with vehicular movement in and out of the service station on the northwest corner of the intersection,
the southbound streetcar stop was located 150 feet back from the intersection. Thus a car starting from this point had
to travel approximately 250 feet before clearing the far side of the intersection. A check of street car movements
starting from this stop revealed that even under the most favorable conditions approximately 10 seconds was required
to clear the intersection. Since the green-amber period of the traffic signal was only half of this time it was obvious
that interference with “A ” street traffic could not be avoided. Southbound streetcars starting during the last few sec­
onds of the green or during the green-amber period were either forced to suddenly stop at the curb line of “A ” street
or proceed across on the amber or red signal.
SOLUTION:
It was evident that to give the streetcars sufficient time in which to cross “A ” street, the car stop must be relo­
cated nearer the intersection. Therefore, the car stop was moved 80 feet south of its original location. The cost of this
relocation was negligible.
CHECK BACK:
In a three year period following improvement only 2 accidents were reported, involving no cost. This represents
a saving of $8,000.
luue& By
Traffic Division,
National Conservation Bureau,
60 John Street, N e w York, N. Y.
Example Contributed By
Merwyn A. Kraft
Accident Prevention Engineer
American Transit Association
Affiliate Member, Institute of Traffic Engineers
GE T TI N G
RESULTS
T H R O U G H T R A F F IC E N G IN E E R IN G
T R A F F IC S IT U A T IO N N o. 23
F E W E R A C C ID E N T S A N D LESS D E L A Y
PROBLEM: Traffic at a 5-way intersection in Augusta, Maine, was very congested, especially during the rush hour
periods. Most of the out-of-state traffic on the two intersecting main highways, business traffic to and from the State
House, and inter-city traffic with the neighboring cities of Hallowell and Gardiner passes through this intersection.
Poor angles of intersection and excessive open space caused traffic to move haphazardly through the intersection.
Pedestrians also found crossing difficult at this intersection.
IO a c c id e n t s
TtOtttV
- resets
2
-
ACCIDENT FACTS: Although primarily a congestion problem, there were in the year previous to improvement 1
personal injury and 9 property damage accidents — a total of 10 accidents.
FIELD STUDIES: Observations revealed that heavy left turn traffic from East Grove Street into South State Street
monopolized the intersection by cutting the comer at rather high speed. Traffic in the opposite direction was fre­
quently blocked because motorists would not use the inside lane where the old trolley tracks remained, especially dur­
ing wet weather. Traffic from West Grove Street was handicapped because the angle of intersection with State Street
made visibility in both directions difficult. W est Grove Street traffic also blocked Western Avenue traffic. A stop
sign delayed both Western Avenue and Grove Street traffic and increased the heavy left turn monopoly previously
described. The distance between the existing island and curb was so small that it formed a bottle-neck for vehicles turn­
ing into Western Avenue. The right-angled intersection of Western Avenue and State Street forced vehicles into an
awkward path when going from East Grove Street to Western Avenue. These conditions resulted in traffic movements
on Western Avenue and West Grove Street being delayed from 30 seconds to one and one-half minutes.
SOLUTION: The lot at the comer of North State Street and Western Avenue was cut back to facilitate flow from
East Grove Street into Western Avenue. Islands were introduced to control the paths of vehicles entering State Street.
East Grove Street traffic was slowed down, thus permitting traffic from both West Grove Street and Western Avenue
to get a more proportiona.b share of time in the intersection. The car tracks were covered with asphalt to permit
smoother flow of traffic from South State Street into East Grove Street. Turning movements were controlled so that
traffic now flows in a rotary motion about an imaginary island. The islands were designed not only to channelize traffic
but to afford pedestrians protection at major crossings. Cross walk lines were added to provide for better pedestrian
movement.
CHECK BACK: Following improvement there were only 2 minor property damage accidents in five months' opera­
tion as compared with 1 personal injury and 9 property damage accidents during the previous 12 months. Vehicles
are rarely ever delayed more than 5 seconds with 95 % passing through the intersection without stopping at all.
Issued B y
1
A C C ID E N T S ®
Example Contributed By
Traffic Division,
Ralph H. Sawyer, Traffic Engineer
National Conservation Bureau
Maine State Highway Commission
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
Augusta, Maine
246
GE TT I N G
RESULTS
T H R O U G H T R A F F IC E N G IN E E R IN G
NO. 2 4
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 24
$50 TREATMENT OF S-CURVE SAVES *17,000
PROBLEM:
Traffic accident frequency at an S Curve on U. S. 395, the main
highway between Reno and Carson City, Nevada, was increasing
rapidly. This reverse curve was necessitated by the highway having
to cross the railroad at this point.
i
ACCIDENT FACTS:
There were 9 accidents with 17 injuries and 1 death in a twoyear period immediately prior to improvement. Of these 9 accidents,
7 occurred at night. The reported property damage totalled $24,000.
Most of the accidents occurred when vehicles, due to insufficient
warning, failed to follow the curve.
FIELD STUDIES:
Speed coupled with a lack of forewarning of the curve were
revealed as the major causes of these accidents. The average speed
of vehicles approaching the curve was 52.4 miles per hour. The daily
traffic volume is approximately 1,600 vehicles.
9 ACCIDENTS
AFTER
SOLUTION:
Wavy center lines were painted as indicated on the highway
A
approaches to the curve. These wavy lines, each 100 feet in length,
began at 300 and 550 feet respectively in advance of the curve.
Reflectorized marker posts were placed so as to reveal the curve to
traffic approaching from both directions. Conspicuous RR pavement
markings were painted as shown. The total cost of these improve­
ments was approximately $50.
\7
CHECK BACK:
There has been only one accident, involving $100 property
damage loss, at this location in a 17-month period subsequent to
improvement. This indicates an accident reduction of 84% and a
net saving of approximately $17,000.
I ACCIDENT
Ittued By
Traffic Division
National Conservation Bureau
60 John Street, New York, N . Y.
Example Contributed By
Bernard C Hartung, Director
Traffic Engineering (E Accident Analysis
State of Nevada, Department of Highways
Carson City, Nevada
Junior Member, Institute of Traffic Engineers
247
GETTING
RESULTS
T H R O U G H T R A F F IC E N G IN E E R IN G
NO. 25
T R A F F IC S IT U A T IO N N o. 25
IL L U M IN A T IO N R E D U C E S N I G H T A C C ID E N T S
PROBLEM:
A t the intersection of Lakewood Boulevard and South Street in Los Angeles County, California, there were
many night accidents, largely due to the absence of illumination.
AFTER
ipk
25 ACCIDENTS
6 ACCIDENTS
ACCIDENT FACTS:
In a 23-month period prior to improvement, there were 25 accidents at this intersection, resulting in one fatality
and 47 personal injuries. All but one of the accidents occurred during hours of darkness.
FIELD STUDIES:
Observation revealed that daylight visibility was adequate because the intersection was located on flat terrain
and vision was in no way obstructed. However, although reflectorized boulevard “STOP” signs were located on all
four approaches, they were insufficient to adequately warn night motorists of the existence of this intersection. A twelvehour count indicated an average volume of 7,000 vehicles.
SOLUTION:
Darkness being the chief contributing factor in the accident rate, it was decided to provide night illumination. A
10,000 lumen sodium vapor lamp was suspended over the center of the intersection. In addition, warning signs were
placed 400 feet in advance of the intersection on each approach. The cost to the county of these improvements was
approximately $50.
CHECK BACK:
In a period of 23*/2 months following improvement there were only six accidents at this intersection—two in
daylight and four at night. This indicates a reduction of 7 5 % in all accidents. Nightime accidents show an even
greater reduction of 83 %.
Issued By
Traffic Division
National Conservation Bureau
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
Example Contributed By
Melvin J. Bankhead, Traffic Engineer
Road Department, County of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Cat.
Member, Institute of Traffic Engineers
248
GETTING
RESULTS
T H R O U G H TRA FFIC EN G INEER IN G
NO. 26
TRAFFIC SITUATION No. 26
“Y” INTERSECTION ACCIDENTS ELIMINATED
PROBLEM:
A t H ot Springs Junction, a “Y” intersection of U. S. 91 and a minor road leading to North Ogden, Utah, there
were many accidents, largely caused by uncertainty arising in motorists' minds as to which fork of the road was the
continuation of the main highway.
AFTER
ACCIDENTS
ACCIDENTS
ACCIDENT FACTS:
In an 11-months period prior to improvement, there were 9 accidents at this intersection, resulting in 2 deaths,
22 personal injuries, and $4,375 property damage. These accidents occurred both at night and in the daytime.
FIELD STUDIES:
Observation revealed that southbound motorists on U. S. 91 were frequently confused by the fact that the
minor road was a continuation of the concrete surfacing, whereas U. S. 91 was surfaced with a black material from
the intersection southward.
SOLUTION:
The intersection was redesigned so that the minor road entered U. S. 91 at approximately a right angle. The
oil surfacing on U. S. 91 was continued completely around the curve. Guide posts and three sodium luminaries were
installed as shown. The total cost of these improvements was $2,900.
CHECK BACK:
In a 9-months period subsequent to improvement there have been no accidents reported at this intersection.
Issued By
Example Contributed By
Traffic Division,
Foster M. Kunz, Traffic & Safety
Utah State Road Commission
Salt Lake City, Utah
Junior Member, Institute of Traffic
National Conservation Bureau,
60 John Street, New York, N. Y.
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
•
LIBRARY
•
Документ
Категория
Без категории
Просмотров
0
Размер файла
11 839 Кб
Теги
sdewsdweddes
1/--страниц
Пожаловаться на содержимое документа