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Future Research

Motor vehicle crash-related injuries and fatalities will always occur on the roadway due to human error. To address the issue of EV crashes that result in morbidity and mortality, research should focus on the known areas of risk. To do this, efforts made should follow the public health model (Figure 5).

Figure 5: The Public Health Model, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Injury Prevention and Control

As stated previously, 85% of all EV injury crashes occur at intersections. Forty-six and 50% of all EV fatal crashes and fatalities occur at intersections. To reduce the risk of intersection collisions with EVs, emergency vehicle preemption systems (EVP) are being adapted throughout the world to provide warning to drivers on the roadway that an EV is approaching. The use of lights and sirens provide an initial warning to drivers that an EV is approaching. This warning, coupled with an EVP system will provide the driver on the roadway with a two-stage gradient level of warning.

Emergency vehicle preemptions systems have shown to be a benefit towards the reduction of EV crashes and increase in response time. EVP systems in the City of Plano, Texas have reduced the number of EV intersection-related crashes from an average of 2.3 per year to less than one intersection crash every five years. Between 1967 through 1976, EVP systems were integrated in the City of Saint Paul, Minnesota. During this time period, a decrease in the number of EV crashes occurred from a high (1967) of eight crashes per year to an average of 3.3 per year for the latter part of the study time period [19].

In addition to intersection technology to reduce collisions, other areas can be researched that can mitigate EMSP risk for vehicle-related injury or fatality. Figure 6 identifies such areas.

Figure 6: Factors contributing to emergency medical services (EMS) vehicular-related injuries and fatalities. Figure adapted from Slattery & Silver, 2009; Figure 1.