By: Eli Freund, Editorial Communications Manager, UConn School of Engineering
Building on the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s extensive amount of data, the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center and the CTDOT are teaming up to build a crucial driver behavioral safety analytics tool—thanks to a new $453,000 research grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation—that could strengthen data-driven countermeasures for crash prevention.
The grant, which will continue on the work performed by the CTSRC over the past five years, adds to the modern web-based application, Connecticut Roadway Safety Management System (CRSMS), which implements state-of-the-art practices in roadway safety management.
Including tools to help analyze trends in human behaviors, identifying vulnerable and target populations, as well as evaluating how effective media and enforcement campaigns are at long-term behavior modification will help the CT DOT become more effective and efficient in reducing serious and fatal motor vehicle crashes.
“Understanding the multiple and varied factors and circumstances associated with motor vehicle crashes, is a significant component in our ongoing efforts to reduce fatalities, injuries, and even the economic impacts associated with them. Accurate, detailed information, beyond physical crash data, which includes human behavior elements, is critical to understanding, and more importantly, to tailoring programs to address them in a proactive manner – to prevent crashes through education and when needed, targeted enforcement campaign,” said Garrett Eucalitto, Deputy Commissioner, CTDOT, and the state’s federally-designated Highway Safety Representative.
As part of the state’s commitment to data-driven decision making, datasets have been linked across state agencies. Arrest, citation and adjudication data from Connecticut’s Judicial Department, injury data from the Department of Public Health, Toxicology data from the State Medical Examiner’s Office are being collected and linked with crash and roadway data from the CTDOT to produce a dataset that can be used in conjunction with a public health approach to have a meaningful and positive impact on motor vehicle safety. However, there are limited tools at the CTDOT to allow for quick and easy analysis of human factors and risk-taking programs and their effectiveness.
The project, which will have three separate parts, will close that gap and require CTSRC to identify and store appropriate data for the tool, build the visual platform for CTDOT employees to use, and require upkeep and maintenance after launch.
For more information on CTSRC, please visit https://ctsrc.uconn.edu.