Health Law Review – Stanford and Road Fatality

By: Fred Jankilevich

Lawyer / Consultant

A recent study carried out at Stanford University highlights traffic accidents as the leading cause of death among young adults (18-30) in the United States of America.


From the sampled population in the study, it was possible conclude that 0.1% of all accidents per hundred thousand drivers per day result in a fatal casualty.


As a result of the above, the present edition seeks to meditate about the causes and pre-emptive measures utilized to mitigate the risk involved in driving. From the definition of the study, a driving incident is registered when a person breaks a rule instead of upholding the law. The two main legal offenses that are affected as pertains to the source are: 1) Speeding 2) Red-Light violations. From the sample studied, 91% of the incidents were speeding incidents and 9% consisted of running Red-Lights.


The two primary methods of surveillance for the protection of these traffic violations are:

1) Direct police monitoring and 2) Camera detection. As the study reflects from its results, direct policing is the most efficient method of enforcing traffic norms, but in the recent decade cameras have served to compliment the traditional means of policing as a secondary tool to aid police officers.


The results from the Stanford University study extracted empirical data from Australian authorities and concludes that the penalties themselves cause recidivism to plunge, but not crash rates. Therefore, the author makes us reflect that in order to make the application of the laws more efficient, its important to further study pure penalty avoidance behaviour and the correlation between the offender violation and the incidents themselves.

Posted In Law

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