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…read more
R1 Research Brief

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…read more
R3 Research Brief

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)…read more
R4 Research Brief

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…read more
R5 Research Brief

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…read more

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….read more
R14 Research Brief

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.

R2: An enhanced systemic approach to safety
Principal Investigator – Offer Grembek, University of California, Berkeley
To date, the dominant approach used by state agencies to allocate safety resources is the hotspot approach that focuses on identifying and recommending improvements for high collision concentration locations…read more

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…read more

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….read more
R8 Research Brief

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 ….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

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….read more

R25: Advancing accident 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…read more

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 devicesread more

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.…read more

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.…read more

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.…read more

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.…read more

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”….read more

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.…read more

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….read more

 

Interim Deliverables and Project Impacts to Date


 

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.