Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 182–189 | Cite as

Motor Vehicle Deaths: Failed Policy Analysis and Neglected Policy

  • Leon S RobertsonEmail author


The author of a recent book inferred that the slowed decline in US vehicle fatality rates in the 1990 s relative to other industrialized countries resulted from too much emphasis on vehicle factors. He claimed that Canada had the same vehicle mix but a lower fatality rate. Actually, US death rates by make and model applied to Canadian vehicle sales indicates that Canada's death rate would be the same as the US if Canada had the same vehicle mix and annual miles driven. The US had much greater growth in sales of large SUVs and pickup trucks that are heavier and stiffer than passenger cars, contributing to excess deaths of other road users in collisions. They are also more unstable, contributing to excess deaths of their occupants in rollovers. Lack of policy regarding these vehicle characteristics is the primary reason for the attenuated decline in vehicular fatality rates.


safety accidents trucks injury policy 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yale University (retired), Epidemiology and Public Health, 1071 W. Mountain Nugget DriveGreenValleyUSA

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