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Integrating complex systems science into road safety research and practice, part 1: review of formative concepts

Abstract

Many of our most persistent public health problems are complex problems. They arise from a web of factors that interact and change over time and may exhibit resistance to intervention efforts. The domain of systems science provides several tools to help injury prevention researchers and practitioners examine deep, complex and persistent problems and identify opportunities to intervene. Using the increase in pedestrian death rates as an example, we provide (1) an accessible overview of how complex systems science approaches can augment established injury prevention frameworks and (2) a straightforward example of how specific systems science tools can deepen understanding, with a goal of ultimately informing action.

  • systems science
  • injury prevention
  • road safety
  • complexity
  • pedestrian
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