In 2017, vulnerable road users ( pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists) accounted for 11,932 (32%) of the traffic fatalities in the United States. The diversity of these users complicates the design and implementation of effective programs for communicating safe behavior practices. For example, for pedestrians: 20% were 65 or older, 18% were 14 or younger, 75% occurred during darkness, 80% occurred in urban areas, and 70% were males. There have been numerous public communication campaigns designed to curtail high risk behaviors in these populations, but given their growing number of fatalities, it is time to enhance our understanding of how behavioral safety messages are received by the target populations and what messages or marketing strategies are most effective at altering behaviors. For all three groups, an audience segmentation approach could present a significant opportunity to improve the impact of behavioral safety interventions at the individual, interpersonal, community, and societal levels.
The objective of this research is develop protocols for states to follow when designing and implementing a media or educational campaign that discourages high risk pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorcyclist behaviors.