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Fall 2016 Vol. 3, No. 4

Warning system aims to save lives in highway work zones

Image of workzone flagger

For highway workers, work zones can be dangerous or even deadly. Each year more than 20,000 workers are injured and more than 100 lose their lives in U.S. highway work zones. An RSI-funded project is investigating a way to help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities in work zones by alerting construction vehicle operators and passing drivers to the presence of workers.

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Creating rural road safety strategies that go beyond crash history

Image of car crash

The transportation safety community has largely embraced a data-driven approach to highway safety, traditionally relying on “worst first” analysis based on crash history. This traditional approach does not always provide results, but now transportation engineers are beginning to turn to a new “systemic” safety approach to reduce serious injury and fatal crashes on rural highway systems—an approach explained in a September RSI seminar. 

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New model targets train derailments

Image of oil train

Train derailments can have serious consequences such as extensive property damage, injuries or deaths, and environmental disasters. Track geometry defects are one of the two primary causes of freight train derailments on main tracks. In a recent RSI seminar, researcher Hadi Meidani outlined research focused on developing a new predictive model that could make reliable predictions on when a track defect will exceed safety parameters.

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RSI researchers receive NSF grant

Image of biker alongside car on the road

Mechanical engineering professor Rajesh Rajamani and RSI director Max Donath, both with the University of Minnesota, have been awarded a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The award will fund a new project in which the researchers will partner with Quality Bicycle Products to explore implementation and possible commercialization of a bicycle collision-warning system developed by Rajamani in his Institute-funded research.

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Institute celebrates grand opening of museum exhibit

Image of exhibit

Join us Friday, December 9, 2016, as we celebrate the grand opening of the Roadway Safety Institute’s safety-themed museum exhibit at The Works Museum in Bloomington, Minnesota. The exhibit, a permanent installation at the museum, uses a variety of hands-on activities to teach preteens about reflectivity and safety.

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Researcher demos methods for safer crossings

Image of crosswalk sign

This past August, RSI researcher Ron Van Houten took his research findings to the street by leading several pedestrian safety workshops and presentations in Minneapolis. Over several days, Van Houten gave demonstrations and workshops to practitioners, including City of St. Paul (Minn.) staff, whom he accompanied on a bus tour of key pedestrian conflict sites and provided insight about how to best address these sites.

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Publication Credits

Director: Max Donath
Editor: Amy Friebe
Designer: Angela Kronebusch
Writers: Christine Anderson, Michael McCarthy, Megan Tsai
Web Team: Savannah Brausen