The highway transportation system as a commons: implications for risk policy

Accid Anal Prev. 1986 Oct;18(5):417-24. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(86)90014-x.


The highway transportation system may be viewed as a commons, that is, property that is owned by everyone and open to use by everyone. However, a commons has certain characteristics that lead to its exploitation or even demise. The motor carrier industry is used to illustrate the dilemma posed by the commons and how existing systems of deterrents and incentives fail to promote safety. Recommendations are made for modifications in motor carrier safety regulations to take into account the commons characteristics of the highway transportation system.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Commerce
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Humans
  • Public Policy*
  • Risk
  • Social Control, Formal
  • Transportation*