Giving Compass' Take:

• RAND Corporation reports on how to end U.S. roadway deaths through different approaches to car and road design, life-saving innovations, and a change in culture. 

• What will be the main challenges in trying to accomplish this? What are the traffic safety needs of your community? 

• Read about the politics of reducing road carnage globally. 

On an average day in America, more than 100 people will lose their lives in car crashes. In recent years, a growing number of cities have committed to building a traffic system that prevents death and serious injuries—one that never puts a young mother on a 12-lane road in the dark with her children. Their goal is not to reduce traffic fatalities, but to end them altogether. If that sounds too ambitious, talk to Sweden.

In the late 1990s, concerned about its own safety record on the roads, Sweden enacted a policy that it called Vision Zero. It was easy to scoff at—a national promise to eliminate road deaths?—except that Sweden now has one of the lowest traffic mortality rates in the world.

Working with the National Safety Council, RAND brought together transportation officials, safety advocates, traffic engineers, and other experts to develop a plan for how that could work here. They imagined the year 2050 as the first year with not a single death on American roads. Then they asked how we get there.

What if we designed our cars and roads for bad drivers, rather than good drivers?

That kind of thinking would go a long way toward preventing traffic deaths. If every country road had raised bumps down the center, drivers would jolt awake the moment they drifted into an oncoming traffic lane. If every traffic light gave pedestrians a few seconds' head start, they'd be more visible by the time cars got the green light, and less likely to get hit.

Read the full article about ending roadway deaths by Doug Irving at RAND Corporation.