Research Focus Areas
Driven by the goal of preventing crashes to reduce fatalities and life-changing injuries, research at the Roadway Safety Institute concentrates on the theme of user-centered transportation safety systems. Within this theme, the Institute is addressing both traffic safety system approaches and high-risk road users.
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 is conducting research aimed at improving the safety of railroad grade crossings and their surroundings.
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 is collaborating with tribal communities to conduct several projects that address these challenges.
Roadway Safety Institute research focuses 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.
A connected vehicle network has the potential to significantly improve driver safety and traffic mobility. Research at the Roadway Safety Institute is investigating improvements to safety and traffic operations through vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication. Additionally, our work is establishing a permanent laboratory for developing and testing connected vehicle technologies and applications.
Research at the Roadway Safety Institute is investigating 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.
Other Topic Areas
- Driver-Assist Systems
- Driver Distraction
- Impaired Drivers
- Intersection Safety
- Safety for Design and Operations
- Vulnerable Users
- Work-Zone Safety
- Wrong-Way Driving
The Roadway Safety Institute is built on a strong foundation of safety-related research, education, and outreach conducted at the University of Minnesota’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute and Center for Transportation Studies as well as at consortium members the University of Akron, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and Western Michigan University.