A statistical analysis of traffic reductions in developed countries: The role of medical technology

Robert B Noland

Over the past 30 years developed countries have seen a remarkable decrease in the total number of fatalities associated with traffic accidents. This has occurred despite the large growth in the total number of kilometers traveled by private vehicles and increases in population. Many pro-active policies are often attributed with leading to this reduction. One factor, infrequently cited as a source of reduce fatalities is the increased knowledge and technology associated with medical care. This paper examines various proxy measures for improvements in medical care and technology and their impact on traffic fatalities. The ability of medical practitioners to treat numerous conditions has increased dramatically over the last 30 years, but has also shown some variation between countries. The analyses in this paper estimates models that include proxies for medical technology improvement and show that some of these factors have had a statistically significant impact on reducing total traffic-related fatalities

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