Institute researchers highlight safety work
On August 18, several RSI researchers participated in Congressional Staff Day at the University of Minnesota. The event informed national and Minnesota congressional staff of the broad range of transportation research, education, and outreach initiatives important to Minnesota. RSI director Max Donath along with researchers Janet Creaser, Tom Horan, Chen-Fu Liao, Greg Lindsey, Lee Munnich, and Andrew Owen shared their safety-related work with attendees.
Creaser also presented at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)’s “Street Smart: Innovations in Traffic Safety Pre-Conference” in Minneapolis in August. The presentation highlighted the Teen Driver Support System (TDSS), which uses a teen driver’s smartphone to provide real-time, in-vehicle feedback to the teen about risky driving behavior and immediately communicate (via text messages) with parents if the behavior continues.
The presentation was subsequently featured on the NCSL’s blog as a “particularly compelling session” that examined the driving behaviors of younger drivers, “who are increasingly connected to their cell phones, and how a cell phone application [the TDSS] could actually help teens develop safe driving habits.” The article goes on to note that legislators in attendance were interested in how the application worked, the data it collected, and how they could get the application to their states.
Additionally, Creaser presented her TDSS work in a presentation titled,“Teenage Driver Cellular Phone Use During the First Months of Driving” at the Fourth International Symposium on Naturalistic Driving Research in Blacksburg, Virginia, in August.
In September, the Institute was invited to showcase its research at a bicycle and pedestrian safety workshop held at the headquarters of the United States Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.
Institute director Max Donath and Humphrey School professor Greg Lindsey discussed how work by researchers at the Institute is reducing the high risks faced by pedestrians and bicyclists through approaches that target all aspects of the journey—from better planning for routes and facilities to developing technologies and countermeasures for preventing crashes. Workshop attendees included representatives from the Federal Highway Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology.