HSRC Directions
summer 05
return to cover
go to spring 2005 issuesummer

HSRC News Briefs

Updates made to NC crash data site

The UNC Highway Safety Research Center recently completed updates to the NC Crash Data Query Web site, an online analysis tool of North Carolina Department of Transportation crash data. The site now includes additional crash data for the years 2001 through 2003. The revisions also include definitions of crash variables to further assist the user in building and understanding crash data tables.

The site, funded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program, allows users to create tables reflecting crash, vehicle, and person counts for crashes in North Carolina. The tables can either reflect the entire state of North Carolina or a specific city, county, Highway Patrol Area, or NCDOT Division. In addition, tables can be requested for specific crash types, such as alcohol-related crashes. Crash data can be analyzed using a variety of variables, including time of day, road surface condition and vehicle count.

For additional information and assistance with the site, please contact Carol Martell at 919-962-8713 or Eric Rodgman at 919-962-8709.

Online tool available to conduct cost-benefit analysis of bicycle facilities

HSRC recently completed work on Guidelines for Cost Benefit Analysis of Investments in Bicycle Facilities, a research project aimed to help government officials evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing bicycle improvements.
These guidelines provide a means of measuring the costs, demand and benefits of bicycle facilities with the following objectives in mind:

  • To help compare investments in bicycling and other modes of transportation;
  • To provide tools and knowledge that can advise the choice of bicycle facilities; and 
  • To better integrate cycling – and its benefits and costs – into the general transportation planning process.

HSRC teamed up with the University of Minnesota, Planner’s Collaborative and the Robert Wood Johnson’s Active Living by Design Program on this project as a part of National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 7-14.

Center presence reaches across the globe

In order to further the international presence of HSRC and its research, several Center researchers have recently participated in international highway safety conferences and events.

Dr. Jane Stutts, HSRC’s associate director for social and behavior research, recently presented at the International Conference on Distracted Driving in Toronto, Canada. Stutts discussed the magnitude of the problem of distracted driving. The conference, organized by the Canadian Automobile Association and the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, brought together researchers, industry experts and government officials from around the world. To view the presentation, please visit http://www.distracteddriving.ca/english/program.cfm.

Dr. Robert Foss, the Center’s senior research scientist and manager of alcohol studies, recently attended the 6th Annual Ignition Interlock Symposium in Annecy, France, where he chaired a session on new research regarding the effectiveness of ignition interlock programs. Alcohol ignition interlocks are devices that can be installed in the vehicle of a  DWI convicted offender that  that prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is above a set limit. Interlock programs are increasingly being used to address the problem that DWI offenders continue to drive after their license has been suspended. For more information on this conference, please visit http://www.ignitioninterlocksymposium.com/symposium_en/index.shtml.

Lauren Marchetti and Charlie Zegeer, directors of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, recently presented at the 6th International Conference on Walking in the 21st Century hosted in Zurich, Switzerland. Marchetti and Zegeer presented a paper entitled Getting There Faster: a framework for accelerating the creation of safe and walkable communities. The paper outlines the development of the Safe Routes to School National Course as a framework for rapidly moving communities and state governments to take action to increase safe walking and bicycling. To read the paper, click here. To read more about the Conference, please visit www.walk21.com.

The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center
730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Suite 300  |  Campus Box 3430  |  Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430
Phone: 919.962.2203  |  Fax: 919.962.8710