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Measuring Minnesota's Traffic Safety Culture

Started: June, 2012 Ended: April, 2015 Project ID #4W4066 Status: Completed

Results & Findings

As described in the final report, the goal of this study was to develop a survey methodology for Minnesota to measure state-level traffic-safety culture. The survey results indicate that many aspects of Minnesota are predictive of the level of engagement in both risky and protective behaviors. Often, the misperception that risk-taking is common and accepted increased the probability that individuals would decide to engage in risky behaviors themselves. The results were used to recommend strategies to increase concern about traffic safety overall and to reduce the incidence of risky behaviors in favor of safer choices.


The objective of this project is to develop a survey tool for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to measure the traffic safety culture of Minnesota drivers, which will help MnDOT evaluate the effect of its traffic safety policies and programs.


Minnesota has a unified effort to reduce traffic deaths to zero comprised of state agencies including the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and other relevant stakeholder groups. This initiative is supported by the Minnesota Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). Currently, MnDOT analyzes performance in terms of outcome variables such as number of traffic fatalities. The proposed research will supplement this approach by providing a survey tool to measure the traffic safety culture of Minnesota drivers. With this tool, traffic safety culture can then be measured as another performance metric to examine the effect of Minnesota traffic safety policies and programs. This tool can also provide a theoretical framework to explain and predict risk behaviors and acceptance of traffic safety interventions by specific regions or demographic groups of drivers. Finally, the theoretical framework developed by this project can also support a new intervention paradigm to complement the traditional Four E's (Education, Enforcement, Engineering, EMS). This new paradigm is based on social media strategies that transform traffic safety culture to motivate intrinsic changes in safe driving behaviors and the valuation of traffic safety interventions. Together, these expected benefits support the specific objectives of the Minnesota SHSP and overall zero traffic death goal.


Files & Documents

Sponsors & Partners

  • Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) Sponsor

Part of: Safety Culture, Center for Health and Safety Culture

Project Tagged In: Evaluation and Assessment, traffic safety culture

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