Image of Donath, Jones, Morris, Rosekind, Haney, Cooper, Achtemeier, and Tian

RSI director Max Donath, Darin Jones (NHTSA), Nichole Morris
(RSI/HumanFIRST), Mark Rosekind (NHTSA), Kathleen Haney
(DPS), and HumanFIRST staff Jennifer Cooper, Jake Achtemeier,
and Disi Tian

In February, NHTSA administrator​ Mark Rosekind ​and regional administrator Darin Jones, along with Kathleen Haney, traffic records coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), visited the HumanFIRST Lab on the University of Minnesota campus and discussed results of a project led by RSI researcher Nichole Morris.

Morris and her team redesigned the electronic crash report interface used by Minnesota law enforcement officers to improve the accuracy, speed, reliability, and meaningfulness of data collected from the scene of a crash. Although at first glance this data appears to serve simply drivers and insurance companies, this information is highly valued because it is used by state and federal agencies, as well as researchers, to analyze and evaluate crashes, trends, and potential countermeasures.

The project was a component of a larger project​ redesigning Minnesota’s crash records database and was sponsored by the Traffic Records Coordinating Committee at the Minnesota DPS and by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Results of the HumanFIRST research prototypes were combined with the state vendor’s prior experience for a “best-of-breed approach,” Haney said.

The new interface launched in January 2016. The report has logged well over 20,000 crashes since its launch and the feedback from users has been highly positive, Morris reports.

Editor’s note: “Computerized Crash Reports Usability and Design Investigation” will be featured on May 10 as part of the Transportation Safety Webinar Series: Moving Research into Practice. This series is jointly hosted by the Roadway Safety Institute and the Midwest Transportation Center at Iowa State University. Visit the webinar series page for more details.

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