Research Roadmap on Safety Issues

With the airport industry’s introduction and early adoption of safety management systems (SMS), safety processes are taking on a more proactive way of doing the business while continuously improving safety. This shift in approach will drive safety research in the near and long-term future.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program’s ACRP Web-Only Document 50: Research Roadmap on Safety Issues reveals evidence of this shift, with input from the industry clearly indicating that more detailed guidance on, and the sharing of lessons learned regarding the elements and processes falling under the SMS umbrella, is needed.

Two supplemental files accompany this web-only document, including a Safety Research Topics Database and a Visual Research Roadmap.

A Research Roadmap for Transportation and Public Health

Transportation is an essential component of a functioning society. Transportation provides access to jobs, education, health care, recreation and essential goods and services—all of which are aspects of the social determinants of health. Distribution of transportation goods and services across populations substantially contributes to the length and quality of life. The missions of state departments of transportation (state DOTs) typically include safety, efficiency, mobility, accessibility, and quality of life—and each of these have implications for public health. The missions of state health agencies include protecting, promoting and improving the health of people—these outcomes are affected by transportation systems and policies. A growing number of state and local transportation and public health agencies are collaborating to improve public health and transportation system performance; this collaboration can contribute to an improved economy and quality of life.  The relationship between transportation and public health is complex, and manifests itself in a variety of ways and at various levels of decisionmaking. The transportation sector has conducted robust research to understand the impacts of transportation on air quality, safety, and noise. However, there are gaps in the understanding of transportation’s relationship to other areas of public health. Some of the under-researched areas include how transportation affects the social determinants of health, the health of underserved populations, equitable access to transportation services, and how performance measurement in both sectors can support better health outcomes. Addressing these gaps may require research in areas such as active transportation, multimodal connectivity, economic development, the built environment, land use, and how decisions made in each of these areas can improve public health outcomes. Research is needed to provide transportation agencies with the information and tools necessary for integrating public health considerations into transportation agency decisionmaking and performance measurement at the policy, program, project, and operations levels. Given the relative newness of this topic for transportation agencies, and the evolving understanding of the importance of the relationship between transportation and public health, state DOTs are interested in identifying a “research roadmap” to guide systematic inquiry in this arena.  For purposes of this research, a research roadmap is defined as a type of strategic research plan that outlines the key opportunities and challenges associated with transportation and public health, identifies why they are important to transportation agencies, identifies gaps in knowledge and practice, and outlines and prioritizes specific research projects needed to address these gaps. 
The objectives of this research were to develop a 10-year prioritized program of research—a research roadmap—that provides a broad overview of highly relevant research needs at the intersection of transportation and public health in the United States. The roadmap identifies research that will provide evidence to support practical and useful information, and implementable tools, for state DOTs and their transportation partners to use to integrate public health considerations at all levels of their agencies’ decisionmaking.
NCHRP Project 20-112 was published as NCHRP Report 932.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Fatigue, Long-Term Health, and Highway Safety: Research Needs (2016)

There are approximately 4,000 fatalities in crashes involving trucks and buses in the United States each year. Though estimates are wide-ranging, possibly 10 to 20 percent of these crashes might have involved fatigued drivers. The stresses associated with their particular jobs (irregular schedules, etc.) and the lifestyle that many truck and bus drivers lead, puts them at substantial risk for insufficient sleep and for developing short- and long-term health problems.

Research Needs on CMV Driver Fatigue, Long-Term Health and Highway Safety assesses the state of knowledge about the relationship of such factors as hours of driving, hours on duty, and periods of rest to the fatigue experienced by truck and bus drivers while driving and the implications for the safe operation of their vehicles. This report evaluates the relationship of these factors to drivers? health over the longer term, and identifies improvements in data and research methods that can lead to better understanding in both areas.

Highway Safety Research Agenda: Infrastructure and Operations

This report develops a proposed agenda of prioritized safety research needs in the area of highway infrastructure and operations. It was developed to provide options to the U.S. transportation community on how to direct research to the areas where it can provide the most benefit. The agenda is based on a prioritization methodology developed by the research team, which can be applied on a recurring basis to update the agenda over time. Both the agenda and the methodology documented in this report will provide valuable input to all those involved in the conduct and management of highway safety research at all levels of government, the private sector, and academia.

TZD: National Strategy on Highway Safety

One person dies every 16 minutes in a traffic crash in the United States. Over the course of a lifetime, nearly every U.S. resident is touched by consequences of traffic crashes. Toward Zero Deaths is the United States’ highway safety vision. It is the only acceptable target for our nation, our families and us as individuals.

Led by the TZD Steering Committee, the National Strategy on Highway Safety provides a platform of consistency for state agencies, private industry, national organizations and others to develop safety plans that prioritize traffic safety culture and promote the national TZD vision.

Strategic Plan for Improving Roadside Safety

NCHRP Web Document 33 (2001), NCHRP Research Results Digest 220 (1997), and NCHRP Research Results Digest 256 (2001): The objective of this research was to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for improving roadside safety, building upon a broad-based consensus. To accomplish the objective, the following tasks were conducted: (1) Organize and conduct one or more roadside safety conferences or workshops. Efforts were made to maximize the opportunities for state personnel to attend and provide insight and input into the process. Presentations by recognized individuals in the field were arranged to provide up-to-date information. The conferences included a series of breakout sessions to ensure a thorough discussion of the issues and were open to all interested parties, but efforts were made to include representatives from the states, TRB, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), FHWA, vehicle manufacturers, testing agencies, private and government laboratories, material suppliers, roadside hardware manufacturers, and the academic community. (2) Prepare reports that synthesizes the input obtained from the conference for review by the project panel. The reports described the draft strategic plan as it evolved and included research problem statements that were developed. (3) Revise the draft strategic plan to reflect the comments from the NCHRP panel. Consider options for distributing the report to the agencies and organizations affected for review and comment. (4) Use the strategic plan to identify research needs, formulate action plans, outline implementation efforts, and identify and organize partners and stakeholders. (5) Prepare a final report, which documents the efforts and findings of the project including the revised strategic plan.

Future Truck and Bus Safety Research Opportunities

TRBs Conference Proceedings 38: Future Truck and Bus Safety Research Opportunities are the proceedings from a conference held on March 23-24, 2005, in Arlington, Virginia. The purpose of the conference was to ponder the future of the commercial vehicle industry and to explore the types of research needed to meet the challenges of the future. These proceedings summarize the issues, comments, future scenarios, and other information addressed during the conference. The authored research papers presented at the conference are also included. The conference committee net following the event to synthesize the information presented and discussions held and to deliberate on its findings and recommendations for future research, which are also presented in the report.