Research Focus Areas
Driven by the goal of preventing crashes to reduce fatalities and life-changing injuries, research at the Roadway Safety Institute concentrated on user-centered transportation safety systems. Within this theme, the Institute addressed both traffic safety system approaches and high-risk road users. For current and ongoing traffic safety research at the University of Minnesota, much of which builds on RSI work, please see the research sections of the Center for Transportation Studies, HumanFIRST Laboratory, and Minnesota Traffic Observatory websites.
Roadway Safety Institute research focused on reducing the high risks faced by pedestrians and bicyclists using our transportation network through approaches that target all aspects of the journey—from better planning for routes and facilities to developing technologies and countermeasures for preventing crashes.
The rate of death and significant injury from motor vehicle crashes is much higher for American Indians than for any other population in the United States. Unfortunately, there is very little research to suggest how to make the most strategic policies and investments to improve safety. The Roadway Safety Institute successfully collaborated with tribal communities to conduct several projects addressing these challenges.
A connected vehicle network has the potential to significantly improve driver safety and traffic mobility. Research at the Roadway Safety Institute investigated improvements to safety and traffic operations through vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication.
Research at the Roadway Safety Institute investigated the issues surrounding safety policy, including public perceptions, law enforcement involvement, policymaker support, and other factors that may foster or hinder the adoption of proven safety countermeasures.
More than 200 people lose their lives at railroad crossings in the United States each year. Railroad incidents involving hazardous material also pose significant threats to safety, public health, and the environment. The Roadway Safety Institute conducted research aimed at improving the safety of railroad grade crossings and their surroundings.