Teens and older drivers are the two highest-risk populations on the road. To help address teen driver dangers, HumanFIRST researchers developed a smartphone technology that improves safety by monitoring risky behaviors such as speeding, stop sign violations, aggressive driving maneuvers, and seat belt use and notifying a parent about them. They then explored using this system for older drivers, whose numbers will continue to grow as Baby Boomers age.
In a study with implications for both trucking companies and policymakers, RSI researchers have found that non-adherence with employer-mandated sleep apnea treatment increases the risk of serious truck crashes. The study examined the first-ever employer-mandated program for diagnosing and treating this disease among drivers and found a large and statistically significant association between non-adherence with treatment and preventable tractor-trailer crashes.
Work-zone intrusions—in which vehicles breach the boundaries of roadway construction or maintenance operations—are a serious safety concern. From 2005 to 2010, 733 road workers were killed in work zones in the United States, with about half struck by motorists, according to the Federal Highway Administration. To address this safety risk, it's critical to understand what contributes to work-zone intrusions.
Ten new projects aimed at advancing roadway safety have received funding from the Roadway Safety Institute for the next 12 months. Topics range from developing a course on automated vehicle technologies to improving EMS response on American Indian reservations. The Institute solicited projects that would move current RSI research toward implementation or position its researchers and the Institute for future funding.
Each year, the Roadway Safety Institute selects one graduate student for its Outstanding Student of the Year Award, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation. This year's recipient is Frank Alarcon of the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. In addition to Alarcon's award, 10 graduate students received travel awards from the Institute to attend the TRB Annual Meeting.
- RSI researchers highlight work at TRB
- Advisory board rides autonomous shuttle
- Institute work recognized in ITS MN achievement award
Director: Max Donath
Editor: Amy Friebe
Designer: Angela Kronebusch
Writers: Christine Anderson and Megan Tsai