Title

Drive 4 Life: An Innovative Safety Program

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

8-2006

Abstract

This paper describes how the 22-mile segment of Interstate 4 in Hillsborough County, Florida, has experienced many fatal and injury crashes for several years. Careless driving and speeding are believed to be the main causes for these crashes. As a countermeasure to an increasing number of injury and fatal crashes, the I-4 Safety Task Force led by the Florida Department of Transportation, District 7 developed and implemented a unique safety campaign called “Drive 4 Life”. The innovative program is aimed at spreading the awareness of safe driving behaviors by reaching people through television and radio public service announcements, “Drive 4 Life” billboards along I-4, and the distribution of “Drive 4 Life” goodies (key tags, bumper sticks, stress balls, bookmarks, etc.). This safety campaign ran for a period of nearly three months from September to November, 2005. The main objective of this paper is to document the effectiveness of the education, media advertisement, and law enforcement efforts of the campaign in terms of the reduction in the number of crashes and crash rates. The campaign officially started in September and ran through November, 2005. An early enhanced law enforcement program started in July, 2005 because of the very high number of fatal crashes. There were 31 severe injury crashes in the first half of the year and 21 severe injury crashes in the second half. A significant reduction of 32% was found for the severe crashes. There were 13 fatal crashes in the first 6 months and only one in the second half year. The fatal crashes were reduced by approximately 92% in the second half of 2005. The Empirical Bayes approach was used to conduct a before-and-after safety comparison. Crash data were collected for the past six years. The after period for this study is four months from September to December, 2005. The analysis results showed that there was a significant decrease of approximately 16.3% in injury and fatal crashes during the after period, assuming a traffic growth rate of five percent. In addition, an online survey was conducted to understand the impact of the campaign on users of I-4. The online survey received 668 responses from people working in the Hillsborough County area. The survey results showed that approximately one third of the people who responded to the survey noticed the campaign through either billboards or advertisement on radio and television. The campaign had the most influence on people in the 26-40 age group. It was found that about 33 percent of the respondents who drove I-4 daily or once a week claimed to be more attentive while driving. Overall, the campaign had a positive impact on the community and was successful in reducing the number of injury or fatal crashes on the I-4 segment. In light of its effectiveness and relatively low cost as compared to other engineering and roadway improvements, consideration should be given to expanding and trying such campaigns in other areas.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

ITE 2006 Annual Meeting and Exhibit, Compendium of Technical Papers, Washington, D.C., August 2006.

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