On the Road with ASIRT _____________________Spring 2024


Hope for Reduced Number of Road Fatalities

A ray of hope wrapped in an overwhelming sense of urgency and impatience. The road safety community was heartened by the 5% decline in road deaths globally indicated by the recently released Global status report on road safety 2023. This periodic report created by the World Health Organization provides an overview of the scale of road crash deaths and reports evidence of worldwide and country specific road safety progress. The report stated that 108 countries disclosed some reduction in road crash deaths, indicating that efforts to improve road safety are effective when proven road safety measures are instituted. Road crash deaths, however, remain a critical health crisis and the leading cause of fatalities of young people from 5 to 29 years of age. Pedestrian deaths have risen 3% and currently account for 23% of all global fatalities. The excruciatingly slow pace of progress remains a devastating, unforgivable, and inexcusable reality. Insufficient political commitment, legislative gaps, and a serious lack of funding continue to plague progress and must inform advocacy efforts moving forward.

ASIRT has long reported on the disturbing road crash statistics, revealing that the U.S. has plummeted from among the safest industrialized countries to among the least safe. While this reality was indicated by the Global status report, there is reason for optimism. Most recent US statistics indicate a slow downward trend in road crash deaths. The long-awaited National Roadway Safety Strategy has been put into place. Increased funding has been provided to government and non-governmental road safety agencies and organizations.

It is our hope that we will all continue to work together toward the realization of a Decade of Action during which there will be a dramatic reduction of road fatalities both at home and abroad.


Rochelle Sobel

Founder and President


Update: ASIRT Road Safety Reviews (RSR)

Current Road Safety Review (RSR) subscribers should have received a link to access reports or updates to reports for countries of interest. Contact [email protected] for assistance. Renew subscriptions online.

Pulse and ForumEA members can take advantage of the special first-time subscriber discount of 20% by noting your membership in the Comments field when you subscribe online.

Student, faculty and administrators are invited to submit articles about their road safety experiences while traveling abroad for consideration for publication on ASIRT’s website and in its newsletters. Read recent student articles about Saudi Arabia and Taiwan. Contact [email protected] for details.

Recent RSR updates include:







Bosnia - Herzegovina



Cape Verde

Myanmar / Burma








Gain a better understanding of the topics and important information included in ASIRT’s country-specific Road Safety Reviews. Check out the free sample reports for Brazil, Czech Republic, and Uganda at asirt.org/resources.

The Edge

Welcome to The Edge, a column that focuses on emerging road safety issues to create awareness, and where appropriate, the opportunity to advocate for and implement safe road practices.



by Special Guest Columnist and

ASIRT Advisory Board Member Richard Finch

We have all seen it and sometimes done it ourselves. Maybe we’re on a long, monotonous road journey. The front seat passenger is relaxed, dozing, focused on social media, or listening to the radio. After kicking off shoes, the passenger places his or her feet on the top of the dashboard. He or she tilts the passenger seat back to be more comfortable. Some passengers even stick their feet outside the car window! Sometimes passengers in the rear seat put their feet on top of the front seats or headrests or even through the gap between the front seats. Everything is fine — until the vehicle is in a crash that instantly deploys the airbags! Read more.

ASIRT Advisory Board Member Richard Finch graduated from London University, UK. After serving in the Royal Air Force, he joined a major oil company and had assignments in the UK, The Netherlands, Venezuela, Nigeria, Sultanate of Oman, and Bangladesh.

ASIRT recommends:

Front seat passengers

Rear seat passengers

Do not put feet on top of the front dashboard.

Do not put feet on the top of the seats

or headrests in front.

Do not put feet through the

side passenger windows.

Do not rest feet between the two front seats

in case of front, rear, side impact,

or rollover incidents.

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 32,657 people died in distraction-affected crashes over the 10-year period from 2012 to 2021. Maintaining focus on the road while behind the wheel saves lives. Here are some tips to avoid distractions while driving:

  • Put your phone away while behind the wheel. It’s very tempting to access a cell phone when it’s visible.
  • Use cell phones for emergencies only, and pull over to a safe location when making a call. Ask a designated passenger to text or make calls on your behalf. Even using a phone connected to a vehicle’s speaker can be a distraction from the road.
  • Limit the number of passengers and activity in the car while driving. Loud music and conversations can distract attention from driving.
  • Check your route and set navigation before heading to a destination.
  • Avoid texting, searching for music, and eating while driving. 
  • Make sure children and pets are properly secured in your vehicle.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and watch carefully for cyclists and pedestrians who may not be paying attention.

Road Safety in the News

The National Safety Council Estimates traffic crashes claimed the lives of more than 44,000 people in the United States in 2023. Read the preliminary analysis of this public health crisis.

PR Newswire, February 2024

After decades of declining fatality rates, dangerous driving has surged again. Read Why Are American Drivers So Deadly?

New York Times, January 2024

Road crash deaths decreased slightly worldwide but U.S. statistics are still too high. Learn more about the Global status report on road safety 2023.

Forbes, February 2024

The global car crash epidemic claims the life of Kenyan marathoner Kelvin Kiptum. Read more.

Vox, February 2024

Follow how Maryland lawmakers are tackling two big issues involving road safety.

CBS News, February 2024

See what we can learn from NYC’s Vision Zero campaign.

Transportation Alternatives, February 2024

Read about the argument in favor of speed cameras.

Virginia Mercury, January 2024

Watch and learn how there’s more to Dutch roads than people realize.

ASIRT Thanks Its Generous Sponsors

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