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Spring 2015 Vol. 2, No. 2

Research explores collision-warning system for bike riders

Bike figure

More than 48,000 bicycle–motorist crashes occur each year in the United States. Many of these crashes happen because the driver does not see the bicyclist or the bicyclist behaves in an unpredictable manner. In response, researchers at the Roadway Safety Institute are investigating the use of technology on bicycles that would predict impending crashes and warn both riders and drivers.

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Technology holds promise for safer freeway merging

Entrance ramp

Merging onto a freeway can be stressful, especially when the weather or road infrastructure causes poor visibility. If a driver on an entrance ramp can’t clearly see the vehicles traveling on the freeway, it can be difficult to merge safely. In a project funded by the Institute, researchers at the University of Minnesota Duluth are investigating the use of DSRC technology to make merging from freeway entrance ramps easier and safer for drivers.

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Researcher Spotlight: Stephen Burks

Stephen Burks

Stephen Burks is a professor of economics and management in the Division of Social Science at the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM). One of Burks’s research interests is in the economics, especially the personnel economics, of the U. S. trucking industry. Most recently, his work in this area has explored the relationship between the health status of truckers and their crash risk, turnover, productivity, and medical costs.

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Researcher Spotlight: Greg Lindsey

Greg Lindsey

Greg Lindsey is a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where he specializes in environmental and transportation planning and management. He’s been working in the area of bicycle and pedestrian traffic monitoring for more than two decades. Recently, his research has focused on using the results of this monitoring to measure and assess exposure to risk for pedestrians and bicyclists.

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Institute reaches out to future engineers

Kids yield sign

Young inventors and creators—and potential transportation engineers—gathered on February 28 for a day of family fun at Tech Fest, an annual event held at The Works Museum in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Roadway Safety Institute hosted activities that had kids designing safety signs and learning about bicycle and pedestrian counting technology.

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Zitzow receives Outstanding Student of the Year

Hordous, Zitzow, and Donath

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology presents an outstanding student of the year award to each of its University Transportation Centers. Stephen Zitzow, a master’s candidate in civil engineering, received the 2015 award for the Roadway Safety Institute at the Transportation Research Board annual meeting in January.

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Focus group gives insight about kids and safe travel

Focus group

On May 12, staff from the Roadway Safety Institute and The Works Museum met with elementary students as part of a development process for a roadway-safety-related museum exhibit. The students participated in a focus group to help RSI staff understand their experiences with and perspectives about safe travel—in particular, about crossing streets.

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New publications highlight Institute research at a glance

RSI publication

Check out overviews of RSI research in the areas of tribal roadway safety and rail grade crossing safety in a quick-to-digest format.

View or download research fact sheets


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