A quarterly compilation of current traffic safety projects, 
e-news, resources and links brought to you by Louisiana Center for Transportation Safety at LTRC

December, 2016 // Volume 1, Issue 2

a nd read about the  Safety Research  program at LCTS

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Dear Safety Research Partner,

The Louisiana Center for Transportation Safety (LCTS), also known as the  Safety Center , shares this quarterly compilation of traffic safety research and e-news to keep you updated on current research and driving studies that may enhance your traffic safety practices to help save lives.

LCTS Searching for Safety Research Problem Statement s

The  Louisiana Center for Transportation Safety  is working in accordance with LTRC's  biennial solicitation of problem statements to solicit problem statements specific to safety research.  These problems will form the basis for the Safety Center's research program for the next  two years. As our safety partners, this is your chance to make a difference within the world  of transportation safety. The Safety Center is particularly interested in problem statements with a focus on any of the human factors or infrastructure emphasis areas being addressed in Louisiana's Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

Problem Statements are to be submitted through the LTRC website. LTRC welcomes both applied and theoretical problem statements as well as  any problems that will require technical assistance. 

In Louisiana
Safety Center's New Projects

17-1SA Evaluating the Effectiveness of Regulatory and Warning Signs on Driver Behavior near Highway/Rail Crossings
The primary objective of this research project is to evaluate the effectiveness of regulatory and warning signs on driver behavior  by analyzing their effectiveness in reducing instances of stopped vehicles within the dynamic envelope zone (i.e., the area that a  train occupies) of at-grade highway-rail crossings near roadway intersections. 

16-5SA Highway Work Zone Construction Safety Research and Training: A driving Simulator Study
The objectives of this project are to determine the effectiveness of an integrated virtual environment as a means for studying highway work zone safety, and to evaluate the potential for incorporating the integrated virtual environment in Louisiana's safety training. The effectiveness of the integrated virtual environment will be determined by surrogate safety measures evaluating workers in work zones. 

Safety Center's Involvement in a Pooled Fund Study
An Assessment of Traffic Safety Culture Related to Driving After Cannabis Use 
This study, led by the Montana Department of Transportation, was part of a multi-year pooled fund program which includes a contribution from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. This partnership has given the opportunity for our own  Dortha Cummins, director of LCTS, to be involved in this project while representing LADOTD.  The project conducted a survey of adults to measure behavior, intention, willingness, attitudes, behavioral beliefs, perceived norms, and perceived control of driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC). 
Local News Spotlight

LTRC Partners with a New Regional University Transportation Center to Support  DOTD Research Needs 
Louisiana Transportation Research Center will receive $1.5 million in research funds over the next five years to tackle local infrastructure problems. This support will provide funding for approximately 15 or more projects valued at about $3 million over this period. The funds will be matched by participating universities and LTRC to provide for the extra funds needed.  Read More

New Orleans Pedestrian Crossings Still Perilous, Inspector General Finds
Despite recent upgrades to signalized pedestrian crossings, a new report from the Office of Inspector General shows that the city of New Orleans remains one of the most dangerous places in the state to navigate on foot.  Read More

Expanding the Scope
Recently Published Reports Nationwide

Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement
This study, written by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, quantifies the relationship between the hours slept within the past 24 hours and the risk of crash involvement using a case-control study design. The results indicate that sleeping for less than the recommended 7 hours significantly elevates crash risks. Drivers who had slept for less than 4 hours, 4-5 hours, 5-6 hours, and 6-7 hours in the past 24 hours had an estimated 11.5, 4.3, 1.9, and 1.3 times the crash rate, respectively, of drivers who had slept for 7 hours. 

Development of Crash Modification Factors for Uncontrolled Pedestrian Crossing Treatment
The objective of this study was to develop crash modification factors (CMFs) for different types of pedestrian treatments at unsignalized pedestrian crossings. Four types of treatments were selected for evaluation utilizing approximately 1000 sites within 14 different cities throughout the U.S. Relevant data was collected and analyzed to determine the crash effects of each treatment type. All four types were found to correlate with reductions in pedestrian crash risk. 

Mission Not Accomplished: Teen Safe Driving, the Next Chapter
This report examines the differences in fatal crashes between older and younger teens, as well as by gender, and provides a set of 11 policy and best practice recommendations for states to implement. The data in this report reveals that while teen-involved fatal crashes have declined significantly since 2005, teens are still more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than 35- to 40-year-olds. The report examines the different factors involved in teen related crashes and addresses these findings to make recommendations on best practices. 

Comparison of 2013 VMT Fatality Rates in U.S. States and in High-Income Countries 
This study compares the fatality rates per VMT in the Unites States and other high-income countries using four homogenous groups based on demographics and geographic factors. Considering states as separate jurisdictions, the states and countries within each group are ranked per their fatality rates per 100 million VMT in 2013. The results revealed that the States have significantly lower VMT fatality rates than the comparison countries. 

Occupant Restraint Use in 2015: Results from the NOPUS Controlled Intersection Study
The National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducts the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) each year. The 2015 NOPUS found that seat belt use among male drivers increased, while seat belt use in rear seat as well as restraint use for children under 8 years both decreased from 2014 to 2015. The survey also found that seat belt use for females continued to be higher than for males. 

Evaluation of a Rural Seat Belt Demonstration Program in Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee
Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee  initiated a combined rural seat belt program. From November 2008 to May 2010, these states conducted four waves of intensified enforcement and media. After review of the combined data from all three states, there were significant positive correlations seen between media and awareness of rural seat belt messages. Despite this, actual belt use produced mixed results with an increase in control areas as well as test areas. 

More Publications:

Implementation Summary: Putting Research Into Practice: Sinusoidal Centerline Rumble Strips Perform Better than MnDOT's Current Design
For this project, four differing sinusoidal designs were installed and investigated on a pavement test track to evaluate the effectiveness of each sinusoidal centerline rumble strip design. Three types of vehicles were driven over each rumble strip to analyze the tonal quality of the sound produced, as well as the level of disruption the sound may cause with neighboring landowners. Each design produced less exterior sound and better tonal quality than Minnesota's current rumble strip design.  

Synthesis of Highway Practice: Application of Pedestrain Crossing Treatments for Streets and Highways
This synthesis from the NCHRP Project 20-5 "Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems" summarizes the types of pedestrian crossing treatments being used in different places throughout the United States, as well as what policies and processes are used to select and prioritize treatments and treatment locations. 

National News Spotlight

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces $300 Million for University Transportation
Center Grants 
In an effort to advance research and education programs that address critical transportation challenges facing the nation, $300 million in grants was awarded to 32 University Transportation Centers. UTCs work with regional, state, and local transportation agencies and private sector partners to find solutions to these transportation challenges.  Read More

Seat Belt Use in U.S. Reaches Historic 90 Percent 
According to the US DOT's NHTSA, seat belt use in the United States has reached its highest level since the Federal government began regular national surveys in 1994.  Read More

GHSA to Fund State Drowsy Driving Programs Through National Road Safety Foundation
After the release of the report "Wake Up Call: Understanding Drowsy Driving and What States Can Do", GHSA announced that it has received  a $100,000 grant from the National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF) that will support state programs that address and  combat the issue of drowsy driving.  Read More

Speeding One of Top Deadly Mistakes by Teen Drivers
Over the past 5 years, more than 4,200 of the 14,000 total teen-related fatal crashes involved speeding. According to a AAA survey, driving instructors include speeding as one of the top three mistakes made by teen drivers along with distractions and poor visual scanning.  Read More

FRA Awards $25 Million in Grants to Upgrade Safety at Railroad Crossings, Stations
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) offered $25 Million in grants to fund 23 projects in 14  states aimed at improving the safety of railroad-highway crossings, train stations, and tracks  across the country.  Read More

The Most Dangerous US States To Drive In,  According To Traffic Safety Research 
The results of Instamotor research reveal the safest states and the most dangerous in the United States to drive in. About 56% of US traffic fatalities occurred in rural regions despite these regions containing only 23% of the total US population.  Read More
Provided by Instamotor in article: "The Most Dangerous US States to Drive in, According to Traffic Safety Research" 

Stay Updated on Ongoing National Studies 

View some of the projects that the  Safety Center is following:
Upcoming Events

January 8-12, 2017, Washington, D.C.

February 13-14, 2017, Washington, D.C.

March 20-30, 2017, San Diego, CA

March 26-28, 2017, Charlotte, NC

April 3-5, 2017, Washington, D.C.

May 8-10, 2017, Green Bay, WI

June 12-15, 2017, San Francisco, CA

July 8-11, 2017, San Diego, CA

August 6-9, 2017, New Orleans, LA


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