RESEARCH

Cutting-edge research, tools, data, and resources—compatible with a Safe Systems approach—are developed and utilized by professionals and the public at large to better understand and address existing and emerging road safety issues.

Research objectives

These key CSCRS objectives outline the Center’s core approach to research:

  • Perform road safety research that explores core safety issues and transformational changes.
  • Develop research-driven tools, resources, and data sets to support problem identification and understanding.
  • Support development of programs, policies, and practices proven to reduce fatalities.
  • Disseminate research products and findings, reaching new and non-traditional audiences.

Research Projects

Moving forward to meet ambitious safety targets requires a rigorous, conceptually driven and focused research agenda.

Completed Research

The following are completed CSCRS funded research projects.

R1: Structures of stakeholder relationships in making road safety decisions

Principal Investigator – Seth LaJeunesse, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Findings from this three-phase study suggest that Vision Zero and safe systems strategies can diffuse across U.S. cities in accelerated fashion. Further, though it will require more time before cities document significant improvements in road user safety, the organizational network analysis carried out in Phase III of this R1 project holds promise as an exploratory technique to employ toward identifying adaptive, resilient cross-sector partnerships…

R2: An enhanced systemic approach to safety

Principal Investigator – Offer Grembek, University of California, Berkeley
This report presents an enhanced systemic approach which consists of targeting blanket improvements at sites across a road network based on specific roadway features that are associated with a particular crash type….

R3: Implementing Safe Systems in the United States: Guiding principles and lessons from international practice

Principal Investigator – Eric Dumbaugh, Florida Atlantic University 
This report examines the state-of-the-practice in Safe Systems. It is divided into two sections. The first examines the concept of Safe Systems, focusing on our emerging understanding of crash causation, as well as how this understanding may be applied to integrate safety considerations into transportation practice in the United States. The second presents a review of the practices of the four countries with the most established Safe Systems programs—Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand—and details how each has structured their approach to road safety around Safe Systems principles…

R4: Completing the picture of traffic injuries: Understanding data needs and opportunities for road safety

Principal Investigator – Chris Cherry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
In this study, we introduced a new approach to evaluate road safety that focuses on the home address of individuals (i.e., home-based approach) who were directly involved in traffic crashes instead of the location of the crashes (location-based approach)…

R5: Traffic safety practices in U.S. cities: Survey and focus group results

Principal Investigator – Eric Dumbaugh, Florida Atlantic University
This study seeks to understand the state-of-the-practice for addressing safety in U.S. cities. It consists of a survey of the 150 largest cities in the U.S., by population size, as well as a focus group of individuals from cities recognized at being the forefront of addressing safety…

R6: Using advanced analytics to frame vulnerable road user scenarios with autonomous vehicles

Principal Investigator – Noreen McDonald, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Connected and automated vehicle technologies can dramatically improve safety by reducing human errors, which contribute substantially (an estimated 94 percent) to roadway crashes…

R14: Creating a CSCRS clearinghouse for bicyclist and pedestrian safety-related data, Phase I: inventory & framework

Principal Investigator – Krista Nordback, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The National Pedestrian and Bicycle Data Clearinghouse has been developed to improve data for pedestrian and bicycle analyses in the United States….

 

Current Research

The following is a complete list of CSCRS funded research projects currently underway. These include projects selected through the regular CSCRS annual review cycle (2017 and 2018 thus far), and through the rapid response submission process.Visit the individual project pages for more details.

R7: Development and evaluation of vehicle to pedestrian (V2P) safety interventions

Principal Investigator – Missy Cummings, Duke University
While autonomous vehicles are expected to reduce the number of fatalities occurring due to driver distraction, little has been done to intervene for the distracted pedestrian ignoring traffic…

R8: Development of resources to guide parents in helping teens learn to drive

Principal Investigator – Arthur Goodwin, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
North Carolina has led the way in policy efforts to address teen driver crashes with graduated driver licensing, which has reduced crashes by 38 percent among 16-year-olds and by 13 percent among 17-year-olds…

R9: Concept of operations for an autonomous vehicle dispatch center

Principal Investigator – Missy Cummings, Duke University
The purpose of the CONOPS will be to describe the operational needs and systems characteristics for the system…

R10: Machine learning tools for informing transportation technology design

Principal Investigator – Missy Cummings, Duke University
This project will investigate how machine learning techniques can be used to design countermeasures that improve system safety…

R11: Understating crash risk exposure of low income neighborhoods and households

Principal Investigator – Yanmei Li, Florida Atlantic University
This study will examine the moderating role of the built environment on the relationship between crash incidence and socio-economic status…

R12: Linking crash and post-crash data

Principal Investigator – David Ragland, University of California, Berkeley
This project addresses two California issues; one is to provide a more accurate picture of traffic injuries in California by utilizing medical data to fill in police crash reports. The second is to get a more accurate picture of emergency medical services response times…

R13: Shared mobility services and their connection to roadway fatalities

Principal Investigator – Noreen McDonald, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
This project will assess how technological change embodied by shared mobility services has and will impact road safety…

R15: Integrating spatial safety data into transportation planning processes

Principal Investigator – Chris Cherry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
In this project, will use the addresses of individuals who were involved in traffic crashes instead of the location of the crashes to evaluate road safety…

R16: Opioids at the health and transportation safety nexus

Principal Investigator – Chris Cherry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
This project will identify a system map for the linkage of prescription opioid and traffic safety data, as well as the generation of research questions that will contribute to further investigation…

R17: Strengthening existing and facilitating new Vision Zero plans

Principal Investigator – Kelly Evenson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
This project will develop products to impact the creation of new Vision Zero plans and assist municipalities as they update current Vision Zero plans…

R18: Examining potential safety risks associated with the introduction of light rail transit

Principal Investigator – Eric Dumbaugh, Florida Atlantic University
This study will entail a two-tiered analysis. The first analysis will entail a systematic examination of national trends in light rail safety performance…

R19: Developing a taxonomy of human errors & violations that lead to crashes

Principal Investigator – Asad Khattak, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
This project will develop key elements of a Safe Systems framework by analyzing human errors and violations and their contributions to crashes; bringing together and analyzing behavioral, infrastructure/built environment, and vehicle, and data analytic features to find ways to reduce crashes and prevent injuries…

R20: Investigating the vulnerability of motorcyclists to crashes and injury

Principal Investigator – Asad Khattak, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
This study will focus on analyzing a unique database of motorcycle crashes, exploring how key risk factors vary by demographics and from one context to another, i.e., the settings in which motorcycle travel takes place…

R21: A systems approach to pedestrian safety, Phase II: Examining congestion pricing policies

Principal Investigator – Becky Naumann, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The overall goal of this Phase II project is to develop a system dynamics simulation model that can be used as a learning tool to explore the pedestrian safety impacts of specific, current policy approaches…

R22: Using integrated data to examine characteristics related to pedestrian and bicyclist injuries

Principal Investigator – Katherine Harmon, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
This project will build on prior work through a population-based linkage study of North Carolina pedestrian and bicycle crash and emergency department visit data to examine the relationship between vehicle, crash, roadway and person-level factors and their association with injury outcomes…

R23: Driver impairment detection and safety enhancement through comprehensive volatility analysis

Principal Investigator – Asad Khattak, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
By integrating and fusing multiple data sources including driver biometrics, vehicle kinematics and roadway/environment conditions in real-time, this project aims to generate useful feedback to drivers and warnings to surrounding vehicles regarding hazards…

R24: Developing a framework to combine the different protective features of a Safe System

Principal Investigator – Offer Grembek, University of California, Berkeley
The proposed research will examine what happens when we no longer assume each of the individual components of a roadway systems holds a desirable level of protection for a certain circumstance, but that they contribute to a larger joint entity that can exhibit the required characteristics or traits…

R25: Advancing crash investigation with connected and automated vehicle data

Principal Investigator – Michael Clamann, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
This project will investigate how the potentially rich dataset available to connected and autonomous vehicles can be leveraged to improve accident investigations in the future and overall transportation safety…

R26: Understanding micromobility safety behavior and standardizing safety metrics for transportation system integration

Principal Investigator – Chris Cherry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
The purpose of this study is to accelerate shared learning around micromobility safety impacts and to fast-track improvements to injury surveillance of emerging modes such as e-scooters and related micromobility devices…

R27: Safety testing for connected and automated vehicles through physical and digital iterative deployment

Principal Investigator – Subhadeep Chakraborty, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
In this CSCRS project, we seek to develop a comprehensive testing protocol specifically for connected and automated vehicles by using a novel software and physical deployment platform that allows rapid iterative development…

R28: Reducing motorcyclist injuries: Engaging stakeholders to apply evidence-based countermeasures

Principal Investigator – Jerry Everett, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
The project will enable evidence-based practice, shorten the research to practice cycle and focus on assisting stakeholders with diverse backgrounds, motorcycle safety practitioners and advocates in applying the outcomes of research…

R29: Factors and frames that shape public discourse around road user safety

Principal Investigator – Seth LaJeunesse, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
A UNC team comprised of HSRC researchers and Media and Journalism school scholars seeks to coordinate with local law enforcement, journalists, as well as professionals in public health, planning and engineering, to advance more humane public health framing surrounding traffic injury…

R30: Urban freight and road safety: Trends and innovative strategies

Principal Investigator – Noreen McDonald, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
This study aims to highlight the critical role of goods movement in road safety outcomes and provide a clear explanation to state Departments of Transportation and local communities on how technological disruption is changing the nature of urban freight road safety…

R31: Crash risk for low-income and minority populations: An examination of at-risk population segments and underlying risk factors

Principal Investigator – Diana Mitsova, Florida Atlantic University
The goals of this project include defining the distribution of crash risk among subpopulations from within the target population defined as “minority” and “lower-income”…

R32: Applying civic innovation methods to advance safety education: A pilot program

Principal Investigator – Eric Dumbaugh, Florida Atlantic University
This effort, developed in partnership with the civic innovation firm Urban Impact Lab, seeks to integrate Safe Systems principles with new approaches to grassroots-organizing and civic engagement…

RR1: Explaining the rise in pedestrian fatalities: A Safe Systems approach

Principal Investigator – Laura Sandt, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Pedestrian fatalities increased to 5,987 in 2016, compared to 5,495 (2015) and 4,910 (2014), or an increase of 22% in the past 2 years…

RR2: US Vision Zero Implementation

Principal Investigator – Kelly Evenson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
We would greatly benefit from understanding the various approaches to Vision Zero planning, including their strengths and weaknesses…

 


 

For more information, please contact Laura Sandt, CSCRS Director.

These CSCRS research projects, and other U.S. Department of Transportation University Transportation Center (UTC) sponsored projects, are also listed in the Transportation Research Board’s Research in Progress (RiP) Database, as well as Dataverse.

Also, this interactive map shows all the current UTCs by location; by hovering your mouse over a circle, you can see how many projects the UTC has entered in the RiP Database.