2020 Rapid Response Research Project

US Vision Zero Implementation

Principal Investigator
Kelly Evenson
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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Seth LaJeunesse
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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Becky Naumann 
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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Final Report

Project Slide Deck

Research Briefs:


This project builds upon projects “R1: Structures of Stakeholder Relationships in Making Road Safety Decisions” and “R17: Strengthening Existing and Facilitating New Vision Zero Plans.” Our team documented the early awareness and involvement of road safety professionals in Vision Zero. Through a social network analysis, we identified “opinion leaders” and “boundary spanners.” Following this effort, we collected all Vision Zero plans from US municipalities through 2018 and developed a detailed coding tool to document plan content and quality. Based on coding 25 plans, we identified areas for improvement of Vision Zero plans. Using this information, a “Vision Zero Plan Guide” was created to assist communities to develop higher quality Vision Zero plans or to revise existing plans. 

We learned that some communities operated vibrant Vision Zero programs in the absence of a formal plan, highlighting alternative ways in which Vision Zero can be approached. We would greatly benefit from understanding the various approaches to Vision Zero planning, including their strengths and weaknesses, and identifying best practices to advise communities if and when a Vision Zero plan should be considered.

The goals of this project:

  • Assess how Vision Zero is being implemented nationwide, with or without a plan.
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of differing approaches to Vision Zero implementation and best practices for success.
  • Identify how COVID-19 has impacted Vision Zero efforts and what community responses and impacts occurred.


  • Evenson, K. R., LaJeunesse, S., Keefe, E., & Naumann, R. B. (2023). Mixed-methods approach to describing Vision Zero initiatives in United States’ municipalities. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 184, 107012. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2023.107012

Project Details

Project Type: Research
Project Status: Active
Start Date: 6-15-2020
End Date: 9-30-2022
Contract Year: 2020, Rapid Response
Total Funding from CSCRS: $78,686
Collaborating Organizations: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill