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Effective Traffic Safety Messaging

Lane closure on a busy road due to maintenance signs detour traffic temporary street work orange lighted arrow, barrels, and cones.
Developing an evaluation framework for traffic safety campaigns
  • Client
    Traffic Research Board of the National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine
  • Dates
    February 2023 - Ongoing


The evidence base for traffic safety messaging can be improved through more thorough evaluation approach

Most states have engaged in some sort of behavioral-based traffic safety programs using education and enforcement to change road user behavior.  These include behavioral-based traffic safety campaigns focused more on public awareness, education, and individual responsibility. While these campaigns can present some evidence of their effectiveness, often it is limited to communication outputs rather than behavioral outcomes. A better understanding of how to measure the effectiveness of such campaigns would help create successful and sustainable initiatives. 


NORC and partners are developing a comprehensive framework for evaluating states' safety messaging.

NORC and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) are partnering to develop a scalable framework for State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) that:

  • Identifies components and examples of successful traffic safety public education and awareness efforts designed to elicit behavioral change
  • Outlines the critical components and steps for conducting and evaluating such efforts
  • Provides a framework for how to implement and evaluate efforts to effectively engage road users and encourage behavioral changes to improve their safety performance


Findings will support efforts to protect the public from traffic-related injuries and death.

This project will develop a practical, useful framework to support SHSOs and other entities in the selection of feasible methods to evaluate outreach campaigns, considering time, resources, and gather of data to support refinement and future selection of messaging

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