How Narrower Traffic Lanes Could Help Reduce Crashes

Why are there so many deadly car crashes in the U.S.? One reason appears to be modern street design­—specifically, the oversized travel lanes we see on many American roads.

In this Q&A, adapted from the November 1 episode of Public Health On Call, Shima Hamidi, PhD, MSc, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, discusses a new report from the Bloomberg American Health Initiative that explores how something that was meant to make driving easier could be making it more dangerous, and what can be done to make streets safer and more environmentally friendly at the same time.

We are testing this hypothesis that wider lanes and streets are safer. Can we narrow lanes to make more room for pedestrians and cyclists? And really, what are the best ways of using our existing space within the transportation network?

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