A quarterly compilation of current traffic safety projects, e-news, resources and links brought to you by Louisiana Center for Transportation Safety at LTRC 
Traffic Safety Research Series
September 20, 2017 // Volume 2, Issue 1

and read about the Safety Research program at LCTS
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.

In Louisiana
Updates from the Safety Center

The LTRC is moving forward with a project selected by the Research Problem Identification Committee (RPIC):  Louisiana's Alcohol-Impaired Driving Problem:  An Analysis of Crash and Cultural Factors.  The objective of this project is to use multiple risk factor analysis approaches to identify underlying individual, community, and cultural influences that contribute to drinking and driving in Louisiana.  A request for proposal (RFP) will be announced soon.
Local News Spotlight

Accidents Increase in Louisiana Along I-10 Construction Zone
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn Wilson issued a statement on September 8, 2017, stating that accidents along I-10 have gone up due to two rehabilitation and widening projects.  The DOTD is encouraging drivers to drive safely through construction zones, reduce speeds, and be aware of lane shifts.  The projects along I-10 are expected to last two years.  Read More / DOTD Statement
43rd International Traffic Records Forum Wraps Up in New Orleans
New Orleans had the honor of hosting 369 attendees this August for the International Traffic Records Forum.  Topics of the forum included drugged driving, interlocks, roadway data collection, roadway data integration, automated courts, court system integration, EMS and injury surveillance, dashboards, data quality, and technology. Read More / Photo Album
Highway Safety Research Group Releases 2016 Louisiana Traffic Records Data
The Highway Safety Research Group at Louisiana State University has released the 2016 Traffic Records Data Report.  Read More
Expanding the Scope
Recently Published Reports Nationwide

Evaluation of Safety and Mobility of Two-Lane Roundabouts
The Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota has released a report expanding roundabout data research.  This study related frequency of individual behaviors to certain design features of roundabouts, and focused on yielding and turn violations.  Four different roundabouts in the Minnesota area were observed for a long period of time, where several 2x2 roundabouts have been recently converted to 2x1 configurations.  Even after implementing traffic control changes, no significant improvements of the yield violation occurred.  Read the full report  

Older Novice Driver Crashes in New Jersey: Informing the Need for Extending Graduated Driver Licensing Restrictions
The purpose of this study was to determine if New Jersey should extend the application of standard Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) policies to older novices, in addition to those under 18 who are already subject to them.  The study examined how overall, injury, nighttime, and multiple-passenger crashes during the initial four years if licensure differ for novice drivers at different ages.  Novice drivers over the age of 25 had crash rates 50% lower than those of the age 17.  Nighttime crashes among novices 21 and over were stable, with those under 21 having declining nighttime crashes between 9pm and 11pm over their first few years of licensure.  Multiple-passenger crashes within the first year of licensure were highest for those aged 18-20, but all novice drivers experienced varying reduction rates in these crashes over time.  Read the full report
Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles: Safety Study
In this report, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) focused on causes and trends in speeding related passenger crashes, and what countermeasures can help prevent them. By using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, the NTSB discovered that speeding increases crash risk by increasing the likelihood of being involved in a crash, and increasing the severity of injuries sustained.  Through this study, the NTSB discovered that re-evaluating how speed limits are assigned, eliminating underreporting of speeding-related crashes, implementing automated speed enforcement, and emphasizing speeding related crashes as a national safety issue are all necessary solutions to be implemented.  Read the full report
Passenger Use of and Attitudes Toward Rear Seat Belts
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) aimed to identify attitudes toward seat belt use in the rear seat, as well as gain insight into experiences of rear seat passengers and part time or non belt users.  Adults who had ridden as a passenger in the rear seat within the prior 6 months and did not always wear a seat belt when doing so were the targets of the study, and were questioned through a telephone survey.  1,172 adults fell into this category, with 91% of them stating that they always wear their seat belt in the front seat, but only 72% of them always wearing their seat belt when in the back seat.  Passengers travelling in the rear of taxis or other hired vehicles wore their seat belts 57% of the time, and passengers who travel in the rear of a personal vehicle reported wearing their seat belts 74% of the time.  Part time seat belt users and non users commonly reported their reason for doing so as the back seat of a car being safer than the front seat.  Read the full report

Advancing Automated and Connected Vehicles:  Policy and Planning Strategies for State and Local Transportation Agencies
The Transportation Research Board's (TRB) National Cooperative Highway Research Program has released a research report assessing policy and planned strategies that could influence automated vehicle (AV) and connected vehicle (CV) choices to positively affect societal goals.  The goal is to assist agencies at the state, regional, and local levels  by exploring actions that would increase the likelihood of AV and CV technologies having beneficial impacts on crashes, congestion, pollution, land development, and mobility.  A briefing document accompanies the report and summarizes its key findings.  Read the full report / Briefing document

A Right to the Road
Understanding & Addressing Bicyclist Safety

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and State Farm analyzed fatal bicycle crashes with motor vehicles from 1975 to 2015, with the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Report System (FARS).  This study showed that after reaching a bicycle fatality all-time low in 2010, the 2015 season resulted in the largest uptick of fatalities in over two decades, a 12.2% increase over the previous year.  The average age for a bicyclist fatality victim is 45 years old, as adults make up 88% of the victim population.  Distracted driving is often the culprit, with 1/3 of motorists report being distracted in at least 1 in 10 trips, and 9% of bicyclists reporting use of a cell phone or mobile device on most of their trips.  In addition to distracted driving, alcohol is also a factor in these crashes.  22% of the cyclists and 12% of the motorists in these crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, and 27% of all bicyclists killed in these types of crashes had a BAC of 0.01 or higher.  According to FARS, 54% of the bicyclists killed in 2015 were not wearing a helmet.  To improve bicycle safety, the report recommends infrastructure improvements and behavioral-related initiatives.    Read the full report
Bicycle fatality infographic provided by GHSA 2017
National News Spotlight

States Urged to Utilize Updated Traffic Crash Guideline for Better Data Collection and Reporting
The Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has worked with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to update the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) with the goal of collecting high-quality crash data.

UNBELTED - Adults Admit They Often Skip Belts in the Back Seat 
4 out of 5 adults surveyed, who admit to not always using seat belts while in the back seat, say they don't bother using it when traveling for short trips or by taxi service.
Read More

Alerts Boost Teens' Turn-Signal Use
According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), crash avoidance warning feature increases the time spent driving closely to vehicles, but improves turn signal use for teens.  Read More  

Automated Parking System Pulls Drivers' Attention Away From Road
New research from IIHS shows how driver attention shifts when using parking assistance.  While using the automated parking assistance, drivers look at the dashboard more than the parking space or road, even when the steering is not automated.   Read More

Child Passenger Safety Week is September 17-23, 2017
In 2015, 1,346 children under the age of 15 died in a car crash, making car crashes the leading cause of death for children.  Join us in spreading awareness of child passenger safety by downloading the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's toolkit to share with parents and caregivers.   Read More / Download the Toolkit

Stay Updated on Ongoing National Studies

View some of the projects that the Safety Center is following:
National Traffic Safety Fact Sheets
   Percentage of Unrestrained* Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities,      2006 - 2015
* Based on known restraint use

Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) 2015 Final File and 2015 Annual Report File (ARF)

September 25-28, 2017, Phoenix, AZ

September 26-27, 2017, Washington, D.C.

October 6, 2017, Washington, D.C.

October 2, 2017, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM ET

October 21-24, 2017, Philadelphia, PA

October 29 - November 2, 2017, Montreal, Canada

November 14-15, 2017, Baton Rouge, LA

January 7-11, 2018, Washington, D.C.
(Paper submissions no longer accepted)

February 25-28, 2018, Baton Rouge, LA



Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

Traffic Safety Research Series is brought to you by the
  Louisiana Center for Transportation Safety