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Public health emergency changed the way we work
  1. Esther Wagner,
  2. Randolph Atkins
  1. Office of Behavioral Safety Research, Natl Highway Traff Safety Adm US, Washington, DC, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Randolph Atkins, Office of Behavioral Safety Research, Natl Highway Traff Safety Adm US, Washington, DC 20590, USA; randolph.atkins{at}

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The public health emergency changed the way we work, shop, access education and interact socially. It has also changed the way we travel. Understanding the results of those changes in travel behaviour is an evolving process that benefits from the addition of new information, different voices and novel perspectives. In papers published in this special edition of Injury Prevention, researchers take steps to describe the traffic safety conditions that occurred during the pandemic-related travel restrictions in Connecticut and Japan and on car seat checks. Their work helps build the case for countermeasure development and implementation that will save lives and prevent needless injuries from motor vehicle crashes.

The mission of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards and enforcement. In furtherance of this mission, the Agency spends considerable resources tracking road traffic injuries and deaths and works with States to access and analyze these data. As States began reporting their second quarter (April, May and June) data, NHTSA saw a departure from historical trends. Historically, when vehicle miles travelled (VMT) decrease, fatalities also go down. While the number of road traffic deaths in the second quarter decreased year over year, the …

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it first published. The provenance and peer review statement has been included.

  • Collaborators Esther Wagner.

  • Contributors EW and RA authored this editorial.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.