Future view of transportation implications for safety
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Future View of Transportation: Implications for Safety . Alan E. Pisarski Stakeholder Workshop August 25-26, 2010. Transportation is the collision of demography with geography . DEMOGRAPHY. GEOGRAPHY. TRANSPORTATION. DEMOGRAPHY. GEOGRAPHY. TRANSPORTATION. DEMOGRAPHY. GEOGRAPHY.

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Future View of Transportation: Implications for Safety

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Future View of Transportation: Implications for Safety

Alan E. Pisarski

Stakeholder Workshop

August 25-26, 2010

Transportation is the collision of

demography with geography












Leavened by technology and the economy

A Quick Look at:

  • Demography is Destiny

  • Licensing and Vehicle Ownership

  • Travel Behavior and Activity

  • Truck Freight

  • Implications for Safety


The Pre-labor Force Age Group

Labor Force Age Group

Post Labor Force Age Group


The Old “Watch Out” School of Planning Doesn’t Apply Any More

  • Watch Out! Here They Come!

  • There will be no Deluge of:

    • Young Population

    • New Cars

    • New Drivers (First Time Women Drivers)

    • Vmt

  • But – Maybe of:

    • Immigrant Drivers and

    • Older Drivers Continuing to Work/Drive

  • In Many Ways More Operable

Not Much Growth to Drive VMT

Half of Growth in Aged Pop will be Safety Challenge

Only Small Increases in Potential New Driver Population

  • Holds constant at 1.4% of pop til 2011 or so then drops to 1.3% of the pop thru 2050.

  • About 400,000 16 year olds added each decade; except the coming decade where less than 300,000 are added.

End of the Worker Boom

  • 1980-90: 18.5 Million

  • 1990-2000: 13.3 Million

  • 2000-2010: NEGATIVE

  • Our problem may be too few commuters not too many!

Where will the workers come from? It could matter greatly.

A New Role For Older Workers

Alan E. Pisarski

A Possible 11 to 13 Million Workers over 65 by 2030

*Census Projections ^ Authors Estimates

The Tools of Travel


  • Saturation in all ages

  • Women’s gains

  • Immigrants


  • Stability

  • Aging fleet

  • Workers = Drivers


Women will close the licensing gap

Men will live longer

Cars per Household – 48 Year Trend

Households in thousands

Alan E. Pisarski

Why Vehicle Ownership Matters – Work Travel

Alan E. Pisarski

Household Workers and Vehicles

  • In one worker hh 93% have one or more vehicles

  • In two worker hh 87% have two or more

  • In three + worker hh 74% have three or more

Stable Vehicle Ownership Shares into the Future

Only 4.4% of workers in household with no vehicle 2008

Consumer Spending on Vehicles Declining Since 2003-2005

Fewer vehicles? Older vehicles? More used vehicles?


  • Fewer Trips

  • Trip lengths stable

  • Travel times stable

  • VMT slow growth

  • But, long distance travel boomlet?

    Is it the Economy or the Trend?

The Role of the Work Trip has Diminished with Time

Trip-making down recentlypreliminary NHTSA

Mode Shares to Work are Stable

As Women’s Jobs Became More Like Men’s their Work Travel Became More Like Men’s! – Differences are Less Extreme

Vehicle trip and VMT distribution by Purpose (2009 NHTSA –preliminary)

Average Trip Length by Purpose(2009 NHTSA -- preliminary)

Note: 20% of VMT is in trips over 50 miles

Where People Spend their Time

Immigrant Work Mode Trend


Only Above a Thousand Miles Does Air Travel Win Marketshare

Source: American Travel Survey 1995


  • Declining shares of spending to transportation (housing?)

  • Less focus on new vehicles

  • Fuels impacts on costs

  • Fewer workers = less travel spending?

  • But, a boom in tourism?


Major Transportation-Related Trends

Source: Energy Outlook, DOE

Travel Grows With Income Annual Trips per HH by Income LevelDoesn’t Have to Mean More Crashes


How do we spend our transportation money?

  • Dominant factor (94%) is acquisition, use and care of vehicles

  • Purchased transportation (6%) = anything you buy a ticket for: air, cruise, transit (13% of 6%), taxi

  • Un-reimbursed

Consumer expenditure survey BLS 2008

Transportation Spending is All about Workers

Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2008

We are Spending Less on Transportation This Decade

Density and Distribution

  • Pace of change has slowed

  • Suburban growth pattern continues

  • Large metro growth is the key but …

    Is it the Economy or the Trend?

Suburban Growth Continues but Economy has Slowed Moves

  • 35 million people moved from 2007 to 2008; down from 40 million in 2005-2006

  • The mover rate dropped below 12%; lowest ever recorded (started 1948)

  • In met areas over a million pop suburban share:

    • was 51.3% in 2000

    • now at 52.5% in 2008;

    • gained 66% of the growth to 2008

      Census DomesticMobility Study

National Commuting Flows – More Circumferential Travel

Mode Usage to Work by Flow Type

Before 8 it’s a Guy Thing! Many in Long Distance Carpools - More Early Driving

The Focus will be on Big Metros

  • Metros over a million

    • 1960 34 areas

    • 1990 39 areas

    • 2000 50 areas

    • 2005 53 areas

    • Probably 60 areas by 2020

    • 60% of population

  • 12 areas with more than 5 meg.

  • 1/3 of national pop.; 100 meg.

  • Growth is in exurb areas


  • Increasing tons, vehicles and value

  • Increasing truck shares

  • Prospect of larger vehicles

  • More hazardous materials

  • Non-driver fatalities

Truck Freight’s Role is Massive

Freight facts and figures, 2008

Share of VMT by Road System

Freight Story 2008

The Hazardous Materials Role as well

Freight Facts and Figures 2008

Truck Related Fatalities

We will see New, Sometimes Dramatic Patterns

A replacement labor force of ? size & skills

A rapidly increasing dependent older pop

A pop heavily defined by immigration policy

Changes in energy & environment costs

Other intervening new technologies

All affected by and affecting changes in societal preferences and tastes.

Major Safety Implications



More post-work age workers

Slow fleet turn-over

Immigrant conflicts

Higher percentage of travel by older pop

More trucks, hazmat

  • Fewer young drivers

  • Stable vehicle & license growth

  • Younger working age group

  • Slower VMT growth – driven by pop & income

In Summary

  • To me the central demographic questions for traffic safety of our generation are:

    • Will the post work-years group be forced to stay in the work place – because of their own or society’s needs?

    • To what extent will the abilities of the aging population to meet its own mobility needs diminish? – in what ways and at what rate?

    • Can cars and truck activities be made more compatible?

Thank You!

Alan E. Pisarski

with Special Thanks to

Forrest Council

and Hugh McGee

Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc


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