CSCRS Research to Practice Bytes 

CSCRS’s Research to Practice Bytes series focuses on multidisciplinary research and practices to advance transportation safety. The series frequently features principles and practices related to Safe Systems and the role of systems science, core themes in CSCRS’s initiatives.  

Upcoming session

Reframing Crash Reporting in News Media: A How-to Guide for Road Safety Professionals

Promo image for January 2023 webinar

Date/Time: January 25, 2023, 2:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Presenter: Elyse Keefe, Road Safety Project Coordinator, UNC Injury Prevention Research Center

Description: The ways in which news media frame crashes can have a significant impact on the public’s view of who is responsible, the motivation for making change, and beliefs about potential solutions. Unfortunately, research has found that reporting on crashes typically places responsibility on individual road users (particularly those on foot or biking) and frames crashes as isolated events. In order to build public knowledge and support for a Safe System approach, it is crucial that road safety professionals use effective messaging strategies to reframe crash reporting. The CSCRS media framing guide was recently updated to include step-by-step guidance, tips, and examples for professionals to help reframe the message.

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Past webinars

How to get Safe Systems wrong AND right, Part II: Responding to your questions

December 14, 2022

Presenters: Eric Dumbaugh, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University, and Seth LaJeunesse, Senior Research Associate, UNC Highway Safety Research Center

Description: This session continued our November discussion about the dos and don’ts of Safe System implementation. (You may view that webinar here.) In December, we focused more on real-world examples of Safe System implementation and answered questions regarding Safe System best practices. Watch the recording.


How to get Safe Systems wrong … and how to get it right

November 16, 2022

Presenters: Eric Dumbaugh, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University, and Seth LaJeunesse, Senior Research Associate, UNC Highway Safety Research Center

Description: While Safe System concepts offer many new ways of advancing injury prevention, many agencies continue to fail to see change. In this webinar, we offer an overview of common pitfalls in practice, as well as a case study of one community that is overcoming barriers and innovating its way toward a Safe System. Watch the recording. Slide deck.


Case studies from across the U.S. on using systems thinking tools to inform Safe System partnership, strategic planning, and research

October 26, 2022

Presenter: Becky Naumann, Core Faculty at the Injury Prevention Research Center and Assistant Research Professor of Epidemiology at UNC Chapel Hill

Description: As communities across the US work to embrace Safe System principles, tangible tools and frameworks are needed to guide their planning, partnership, and implementation efforts. Additionally, tools are needed to help researchers study different collaboration models and pinpoint specific research needs for operationalizing a Safe System approach. This session will provide real-world examples illustrating systems thinking tools that transportation practitioners, researchers, and coalitions can use in their partnership development, strategic planning, and research to help with adoption of a multidisciplinary Safe System approach. Watch the recording. Slide deck.


Bringing development review into Safe Systems

September 28, 2022

Presented by: Jesse Saginor, Chair and Professor, Department of Urban & Regional Planning, Florida Atlantic University

Description: Traffic impact assessment (TIA) is an essential component of the land development review process across the US. Conventional TIA practices have long focused on identifying and mitigating the congestion impacts of new land development. Safety for road users is often a secondary concern and assumed incorrectly to be “taken care of” through congestion mitigation measures. This research explores the mental models behind this assumption, identifies opportunities to reconceptualize the role of land development in fostering safer streets, and advances a framework for centering road user safety in the development review process. Watch the recording. Slide deck.


Introducing The first surveillance system for micromobility fatalities

August 31, 2022

Presented by: Kristin Podsiad, Dual Master of Public Health and Master of City and Regional Planning Student and Graduate Research Assistant, Highway Safety Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Micromobility devices are increasing in popularity worldwide. However, because of the novelty of these devices, the fatality risk associated with these devices is unknown. This webinar will introduce the new website,, which aims to improve the tracking of fatalities involving micromobility devices, starting with e-scooter fatalities. Watch the recording. Slide deck.


Safe vehicles: How effective are pedestrian crash prevention systems?

July 27, 2022

Presented by: Asad Khattak, Beaman Professor and Transportation Program Coordinator, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Description: In the drive toward safe vehicles, pedestrian crash prevention (PCP) systems have the potential to mitigate pedestrian crash severity or prevent crashes altogether. However, the reliability and effectiveness of these technologies have remained uncertain. This study explores the performance of PCP systems in field test situations to understand their effectiveness and how it varies among cars. Watch the recording. Slide deck.


Strategies for managing the effects of kinetic energy in crashes

June 22, 2022

Presented by: Offer Grembek, Co-Director, SafeTREC, University of California, Berkeley

Description: This session will describe the role of kinetic energy as a focal principle of the Safe System approach. A proposed framework that allows us to tap into a set of six ordinal crash prevention strategies will be presented. Implications for policy making and technological innovation will be discussed. Watch the recording. Slide deck.


Vision Zero in U.S. Communities

May 25, 2022

Presented by: Kelly Evenson, Professor of Epidemiology at UNC Chapel Hill

Description: Vision Zero aims to reduce fatalities and serious injuries from road traffic crashes to zero through a Safe Systems approach. Not much is known about the extent of uptake of Vision Zero in the United States, or the attributes and functioning of the initiatives. In this session, we will describe characteristics of Vision Zero initiatives across the United States. Watch the recording. 


Creative placemaking techniques to advance traffic safety

April 27, 2022

Presented by: Irvans Augustin, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Urban Impact Lab, and Eric Dumbaugh, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University 

Description: Advancing safety requires us to not only enhance our planning and design processes, but to establish local cultural and belief systems that value, prioritize, and advocate for traffic safety. This session highlights an effort to link creative placemaking techniques with traffic safety. Watch the recording. Slide deck.


Reports from the battle for the curb: Using social media to understand safety challenges faced by urban delivery drivers

March 23, 2022

Presented by: Evan Iacobucci, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Dana Magliola, Statewide Program Manager, Freight + Logistics, North Carolina Department of Transportation

Description: Recent surges in urban freight delivery—largely driven by e-commerce and accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic—have raised concerns surrounding impacts on safety, congestion, curb use, and unauthorized parking of freight vehicles. In this webinar, we highlight recent work that used online conversational data from Reddit to probe challenges delivery drivers face, with a specific focus on parking behavior. In particular, we discuss the implications that these behaviors—and the conditions that precipitate them—have for the safety of road users. Finally, we will discuss primary types of and reasons for unauthorized parking behavior, perceptions of parking enforcement, and interactions drivers reported with other road users. Watch the recording. Slide deck.


Exploring micromobility user safety behavior

February 23, 2022

Presented by: Chris Cherry, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Rebecca Sanders, Founder and Principal Investigator, Safe Streets Research

Description: Micromobility vehicles have expanded faster than our traffic management and injury surveillance systems can adapt. This webinar will highlight the results of past work aiming to understand safety through the lens of survey questionnaires and police crash data analysis. The webinar will also introduce a survey resource that can be used to consistently measure behavior between cities. Last, the presenters will discuss some direct observation behavior analysis that is ongoing to untangle the factors that influence safe riding behavior. Lean more about the project here. Watch the recording. Slide deck.


Building a MVC injury system of linked data: Lessons learned & questions answered about pedestrian injuries

January 26, 2022

Presented by: Katie Harmon, UNC Highway Safety Research Center, and Anna Waller, Director, Carolina Center for Health Informatics

Description: Linking motor vehicle crash (MVC) and healthcare data has the potential to generate a more comprehensive understanding of MVC injuries, including pedestrian injuries. However, building a successful, sustainable system of linked data involves engaging funders and stakeholders, obtaining data use permissions, testing and implementing linkage methods, and disseminating results to a diverse audience. This webinar will highlight the ups and downs of North Carolina’s data linkage experience, including how linked data have been used to answer critical questions about pedestrian injuries. Watch the recording. Slide deck.


Traffic Crashes As Seen On TV: An Opportunity to Reshape the Dialogue Around Road User Injury

July 1, 2021

Presented by: Seth LaJeunesse, UNC Highway Safety Research Center, and Sydney Nicolla, UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Description: The way TV news stations cover traffic crashes and injuries both shape and are shaped by public perceptions about what is normal, right, and just about our transportation systems. News media frames tell us who was involved in traffic crashes, who is responsible for them, and often imply what might be done to address road user injury. CSCRS researchers, Seth LaJeunesse—with the UNC Highway Safety Research Center—and Sydney Nicolla—with the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media—along with a multi-disciplinary UNC research team analyzed more than 1,000 crash-featuring TV news stories in the U.S., spanning the years 2012-2019. Findings reveal clear patterns of reporting, such as focusing on traffic congestion, placing responsibility solely on road users, and treating most crashes as isolated from other crashes. Seth and Sydney will share details on the study’s methods, findings, and their development of a Media Framing Guide designed to motivate transportation and public health professionals to work with news journalists to help shape the narrative around traffic injury. Learn more about this project here. Watch the recording.


Exploring the National Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Data Clearinghouse  

April 28, 2021

Presented by: Krista Nordback, UNC Highway Safety Research Center, and Wes Kumfer, UNC Highway Safety Research Center.

Description: Explore crash, exposure and infrastructure datasets from around the U.S. using the National Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Data Clearinghouse available at Designed to help safety researchers find readily available datasets for study, the clearinghouse serves as a central website and search tool to find available data sources for traffic safety analysis. It allows researchers to search more than 3,000 pedestrian and bicycle safety-related data resources by data type (collision, counts, infrastructure), data format, availability, and geographic scale (national, state, region, county or city). In this webinar, presenters will demonstrate how to use the clearinghouse, including new search geographic and temporal data search capabilities, and discuss strengths and shortcomings of these datasets. Learn more about the project here. Watch the recording.


Crash Risk for Low-Income and Minority Populations: Identifying At-risk Cohorts and Underlying Risk Factors

February 24, 2021

Presented by: Eric Dumbaugh, Florida Atlantic University.

Description: The literature on traffic safety has consistently found that lower-income and minority populations are disproportionately at risk of being injured or killed while walking or bicycling. Nonetheless, there has been little meaningful examination of the nature of this risk. This webinar presents the results of an epidemiological examination of pedestrians and bicyclists in South Florida. It details four pedestrian cohorts and two bicyclist cohorts who are at specific risk of injury or death. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, drug or alcohol use did not prove to be a major contributing factor; instead, pedestrian and bicyclist collisions appear to be associated with everyday travel patterns, with risk moderated by the design and configuration of the built environment. Watch the recording.


Strengthening Existing and Facilitating New Vision Zero Plans

December 8, 2020

Presented by: Kelly Evenson, UNC-Chapel Hill, & Seth LaJeunesse, UNC Highway Safety Research Center. Leah Shahum, of the Vision Zero Network, will join the presenters to contextualize this research.

Description:  A Vision Zero plan is a public document that provides the vision for future efforts to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero. Vision Zero planning may be enhanced through the use of high quality plans. Our team abstracted Vision Zero plans and identified ways in which plans could be strengthened. Guidance based on the review of existing plans was recently released in the “Guide to Developing a Vision Zero Plan“. This webinar will discuss the findings from the plan abstraction and provide actionable feedback for communities creating new Vision Zero plans or updating current Vision Zero plans. We will also highlight the Vision Zero library resource. Watch the recording.


Assessing Tesla Model 3s’ Autopilot Interactions with the Driver Monitoring System

September 30, 2020

Presented by: Missy Cummings, Safety Advisor, National Highway Traffic Administration (formerly with Duke University)

Description: In order to determine how Tesla Model 3’s perception, autopilot, and driver monitoring systems interact with one another, and also to determine the scale of between- and within-car variability, a series of four on-road tests were conducted. Three sets of tests were conducted on a closed track and one was conducted on a public highway. This webinar will examine the results of those tests, which show wide variability across and within three Tesla Model 3s, with excellent performance in some cases but also likely catastrophic performance in others. Watch the recording.