A troubled marriage between safety research and practice

Road design often is not as science-based as we like to think, according to a new study in Accident Analysis & Prevention. Years of biased or misreported research findings inform many of the design practices that are common today. And while there is plenty to be learned from safety research, especially in recent decades, it may be worth revisiting some long-held assumptions and rethinking how research informs practice.

Safety and speed management: Speeding into a crash?

According to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in the past 25 years 37,000 additional people have died due to increased speed limits in the United States. Meanwhile, Canada is taking a very different approach to speed, as detailed in the April issue of ITE Journal, which is dedicated to safety through speed management.

Some drivers are more distracted by phones than others

With vehicle-related fatalities exceeding 40,000 annually, the search is on to isolate causes. On the distraction front, the driver behavior analytics company Zendrive has released its 2018 Distracted Driving Snapshot based on analyzing the behavior of 4.5 million Zendrive users. The report finds a high level of phone use, although researchers have yet to establish a causal relationship between distraction and crashes.

TDOT puts Complete Streets policy into practice

The Tennessee Department of Transportation adopted a “multimodal access” policy in 2015, but recognized that the policy alone would have limited impact without a more comprehensive approach to improving safety for everyone. Since then, TDOT has taken steps to update its practices across the department to improve safety and access for people walking, biking, and taking transit, bringing a Complete Streets approach into all of the internal machinery that makes the agency run. Many of the changes TDOT has made could be replicated or adapted by other states.

Maryland designs for calmer traffic on urban highway

As suburban and urban areas infill, more bicyclists and pedestrians may use arterial corridors, and conflict with motor vehicles and resulting crashes can increase. When residents demand protection from traffic dangers to create more walkable, livable neighborhoods, state DOTs are increasingly called on to shift their focus from exclusively measuring the level of service provided to drivers, to designing for the safety and accessibility of pedestrians and cyclists.

Real-time crash prediction models: State-of-the-art, design pathways and ubiquitous requirements (Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2019)

With the advancements in artificial intelligence, and multiple studies being focused towards developing real-time crash prediction models, the concept of a proactive safety management system has become very close to reality. The linked study conducts an extensive review of the existing real-time crash prediction models, systematically illustrating the various methodologies being used world-wide. It evaluates the universality, design requirements, and associated challenges of various models. The study aims to be a “one stop knowledge source” for future researchers and practitioners for transitioning from the existing real-time crash prediction conceptual models to a real-world operational proactive traffic safety management system.

Real-time crash prediction models: State-of-the-art, design pathways and ubiquitous requirements (Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2019)

With the advancements in artificial intelligence, and multiple studies being focused towards developing real-time crash prediction models, the concept of a proactive safety management system has become very close to reality. The linked study conducts an extensive review of the existing real-time crash prediction models, systematically illustrating the various methodologies being used world-wide. It evaluates the universality, design requirements, and associated challenges of various models. The study aims to be a “one stop knowledge source” for future researchers and practitioners for transitioning from the existing real-time crash prediction conceptual models to a real-world operational proactive traffic safety management system.

Real-time crash prediction models: State-of-the-art, design pathways and ubiquitous requirements (Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2019)

With the advancements in artificial intelligence, and multiple studies being focused towards developing real-time crash prediction models, the concept of a proactive safety management system has become very close to reality. The linked study conducts an extensive review of the existing real-time crash prediction models, systematically illustrating the various methodologies being used world-wide. It evaluates the universality, design requirements, and associated challenges of various models. The study aims to be a “one stop knowledge source” for future researchers and practitioners for transitioning from the existing real-time crash prediction conceptual models to a real-world operational proactive traffic safety management system.

Yes, communities can be sued for their unsafe streets

Cities can be sued if they don’t provide a safe environment for pedestrians or bicyclists. Two cases in recent years—including one before the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court)—prove that. But winning a lawsuit against a city is quite uncommon, and the burden of proving municipal negligence is high. An opinion piece in Planetizen examines why more cases are not successful.