Through a project supported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), state transportation agencies and their research partners are using new data developed through the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) to develop improved methods for reducing crashes and improving highway safety.
The SHRP2 safety data are comprised of two large databases: a Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) database and a Roadway Information Database (RID). The NDS data provide a wealth of information regarding driving behavior, and the RID is a companion database measuring roadway elements and conditions. These two databases are linked to associate driver behavior with the actual roadway characteristics and driving conditions.
Through the FHWA/AASHTO Implementation Assistance Program (IAP), results from the NDS and RID databases were available to state departments of transportation (DOTs) interested in analyzing the data to identify crash causation factors and to develop effective countermeasures, such as improved road designs or public safety campaigns, which will address their common safety concerns.
SHRP2’s three-phased approach to safety research—called Concept to Countermeasure, Research to Deployment Using the SHRP2 Safety Databases—was supported by $7 million in financial and technical assistance through the SHRP2 IAP. Developed through the SHRP2 Safety focus area, the NDS and RID offer more than two petabytes of driver behavior data to researchers and their DOT counterparts.
From eleven initial research projects selected for Phase 1 in 2015, nine were selected to continue their research for Phase 2 in 2016 using the two safety databases on eight important safety topics. Six projects were then ultimately chosen in Phase 3 to continue to implementation. The DOTs selected for Phase 3 included Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, and Wyoming. Washington State DOT received two awards for separate research topics. The topics include pedestrian-vehicle interaction; speeding; work zones; adverse weather conditions; and roadway lighting. (See chart below. A summary of the early research findings from Phase 2, and proposals for Phase 3, by state DOT can be found here.)
AASHTO’s involvement in concluded with the selection of the Phase 3 states and study topics. FHWA has continued its oversight and facilitation of the Phase 3 projects and will remain in this role until the projects come to conclusion.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has established the Safety Training and Analysis Center (STAC) at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) to assist the research community and State departments of transportation (DOTs) when using data from the second Strategic Highway Research Program’s (SHRP2) Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) and Roadway Information Database (RID).