Research Projects

This page contains all GHSA research projects under the NCREP and BTSCRP portfolio dating back to 2014, including both those that have been completed and are still in progress. Use the search functionality to look up projects by date, status and topic area.

The objective of this research was to develop a guide to identify and prioritize the types of behavioral interventions needed to improve child passenger safety in the for-hire rideshare environment, including taxis.

This research project will assess the nature and magnitude of racial disparities in traffic safety-related policing with respect to pedestrians, bicyclists, and micromobility users as well as the impact of the disparities on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

This research project developed a guide for the use of variable message signs (VMS) to deliver behavioral traffic safety announcements.

This project tested bystander interventions to determine their effectiveness and inform development of new interventions for school-age children. 

This project collects self-reported data about over-the-counter, prescription and illegal drug use, and biological samples to detect the presence of these drugs among drivers arrested for DUI and/or DUID.

The objective of this research was to develop evaluation framework & methodologies to determine the effectiveness of combined law enforcement/engagement for reducing crashes & their severity involving road user behaviors such as impaired driving, lack of seat belt use, distracted driving & speeding.

The objective of this research was to develop a framework that identifies & prioritizes the root causes of high-risk behaviors of vulnerable road users resulting in fatalities or serious injuries, & develop effective outreach strategies for altering unsafe behavior of each vulnerable road user group.

The objective of this research is to characterize the current state of knowledge related to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), identify populations in need of education on the matter, and recommend methods of delivery for that education. 

The objective of this research is to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of the current on-road driver skills tests and test scoring methods and develop guidance that include methods for on-road driver skills test administration and scoring that predicts high safety risk.

This research project identified emerging behavioral safety issues arising from the expanding use of e-scooters, both rental and privately owned, and developed comprehensive guidance to help affected agencies plan for and mitigate related safety problems.

This research will assess the cost-effectiveness of alternative drug screening approaches, assess the costs & benefits associated with the collection of oral fluid at the roadside & inform traffic safety professionals about the costs & benefits associated with alternative DUID crash countermeasures.

This project seeks to assess features in an Interlock Enhancement Counseling program by comparing treatment and control groups.

Child Passenger Safety (CPS) is one of the focus areas for State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) for which the opportunity exists to more effectively engage underserved populations in protecting children from motor vehicle crash fatalities and injuries. Repeated requests for best practices have yielded some materials, but there is no step-by-step resource to help stakeholders engage and retain participation by underserved communities.

Equitable access to driver training for youth presents a significant challenge. Research has identified disparities in the quality, availability, and affordability of driver education across different communities, particularly impacting low-income and rural areas. Lack of equitable driver training contributes to varying levels of driving skill and knowledge among young drivers, potentially leading to increased risks on the road. There is a need to understand the root causes of these disparities and their impact on traffic safety.

This project evaluated five field oral fluid drug testing devices to assess their accuracy, reliability, performance to manufacturer specification, susceptibility to interference, and resistance of the consumables to extremes of temperature and humidity.

This project examines how states’ DWI systems evolve with the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana.

This project examines how states’ DWI systems evolve with the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana.

This research reviewed distracted driving laws, enforcement and public education practices across the United States and Canada to develop a library of resources and best practices that states and other stakeholders can use to enact or revise their laws and enhance enforcement and education efforts.

The objectives of this research are to 1) design and implement formative research to identify teen social norms, attitudes, knowledge, and perceptions related to cannabis and driving, and evidence-based approaches and models to support parents and caregivers of teens; and 2) develop educational resources that support parents and caregivers in talking with teens about cannabis impaired driving. The project will develop educational resources to support parents and caregivers in talking with teens about cannabis impaired driving and impaired driving laws.

The objective of this research was to review and document existing and anticipated future changes to the vehicle fleet.

The objective of this research was to document the components of existing U.S. and international employer-based behavioral traffic safety programs.

This research project will develop guidelines for traffic safety messaging and explain how different demographic groups respond to different methods.

This project explores the effects of modules to train novice drivers in (1) hazard identification and (2) the risks associated with using electronic devices while driving on their subsequent crash and citation rates.

This project explores opportunities to increase police participation in high-visibility enforcement (HVE) efforts through innovative strategies that address specific challenges.

The objective of this research was to develop a behavioral traffic safety countermeasure toolkit for highway safety partners involved with rural road safety.

This project will design and conduct research on the remaining fraction of Americans who do not use seat belts, with the goal of identifying practical, actionable countermeasures that can be implemented by state highway safety offices and their partners to motivate the last seat belt use holdouts to buckle up.

This project started with a broad question: What can new, rich naturalistic driver data such as in the Second Strategic Highway Research Program’s Naturalistic Driving Study (SHRP2-NDS), tell us about how drivers react to roadway designs and access management techniques?

The objective of the proposed study was to investigate safety issues unique to moped and motor scooter riding, and to connect those findings with practical policy recommendations and educational programs.

Influence of Infrastructure Design on Distracted Driving, was conducted to develop methodologies (referred to as Safety Frameworks) that can be used by agencies to assess the impact of infrastructure elements on driver distraction.

The objective of this research is to assess best practices in crash diagnosis across crash types in modal diverse contexts, recognizing that vehicle and mode mix matters in the success of investment strategies.

This project seeks to identify the major data sources of drug-impaired driving information by listing the various sources of data on drug use and drugged driving and noting the strengths and weaknesses of each.

This research report shows that dynamic speed feedback signs (DSFS’s), which display an approaching vehicle speed to the driver, are effective in reducing vehicle speeds.

Through a focus group of motorcycle riders, the report finds that while most participants did not regularly wear such gear, those who did reported doing so after having been in a crash with a motor vehicle, or personally knowing another rider who had been in such a crash.

The objective of this research is to evaluate the current state of practice for motorcycle licensing in the U.S. and develop recommendations for improvement based on the latest empirical data.

The objective of this research was to develop guidance for MPOs and SHSOs to improve coordination on local and regional behavioral safety efforts to reduce the frequency and severity of traffic crashes.

The objective of this research is to re-define stakeholder engagement during the development of safety plans, interventions, programs, projects, and policies so outcomes focus on multi-solving decision-making and implementation.

The objective of this research is to develop a framework for SHSOs that identifies components & examples of successful traffic safety education & awareness efforts, outlines components & steps for conducting & evaluating such efforts, & provides a framework for how to implement & evaluate efforts.

The objective of this research is to provide actionable data for states to optimize the supervised driving requirement to ensure it creates safer teen drivers and reduces the crash risk for this vulnerable age group. Study approaches might, for example:

This project seeks to determine the use of on-site oral fluid testing devices in the U.S. and abroad, scan agency protocols and examine legal issues regarding their use.

Do teen drivers who are exposed to greater diversity of traffic and road environments early in their driving careers have lower crash involvement than those who are exposed to less diversity? This research project will attempt to answer that question.

Research is needed to develop a better understanding of the relationship between enforcement and safety outcomes, and to show how changes in enforcement activity/investments may or may not affect safety outcomes. Quantifying the safety outcomes of traffic enforcement can potentially contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the efficacy of enforcement. Outcomes can also help to calibrate enforcement efforts, favoring those that are more promising for given driving behaviors and violations.

The objective of this is research is to document efforts undertaken by SHSOs and other highway safety organizations to increase engagement with underserved communities and develop a noteworthy practices guide, including lessons learned and recommendations. 

This project examined existing risk communication strategies for impaired and distracted driving, reviewed messages and materials, theories and models of behavior change, risk communication, and communication theory and how these are relevant to impaired and distracted driving.

This project focuses on risk communications for seat belt safety, consisting of a literature review of theories of behavior change and communications theory and their relevance to vehicle occupant protection as well as review and catalog existing messages.

Slow Down Move Over (SDMO) laws, which have been enacted by all states, represent a new and potentially misunderstood measure to protect first responders and disabled motorists from dangers associated with being stopped along roadways. It is estimated that one-third of Americans are not aware of these laws. Violation of SDMO laws can result in fines and in some cases jail time. State highway safety offices (SHSOs) are looking for ways to support SDMOs.

This project included a scan of publicly available SHSO social media channels and a series of interviews with NHTSA Regional Offices and a sample of nine SHSOs.

This project conducted a preliminary qualitative research on the feasibility of using ALPRs as countermeasures to improve traffic safety. 

This project documented interlock programs across the country by surveying breath alcohol ignition interlock device programs & populating an online inventory on key areas including legislation, program funding, data management, vendor oversight, interlock technology & monitoring of driver compliance

The objective of this research was to develop a guide for state highway safety offices to enhance older driver safety.

The objectives of this research are to develop procedures to assess the existence and extent of under/over reporting of impaired and distracted driving in crash data, and to propose a methodology to improve the reporting of impaired and distracted driving in motor vehicle crashes.

The objective of this research is to develop a methodology that enables and facilitates tracking of traffic court cases from citation or arrest to final disposition.

This project conducted a survey of LEL programs across the states as well a number of case studies on state programs.

This project involves developing a white paper summarizing research on the connection between THC use and driving performance and the likelihood of increased crash risk as well as the impact of marijuana per se limits and laws.

This synthesis of existing research examined data across 80 studies on the relationship between HVE efforts and safety outcomes, with a focus on not buckling up, speeding, and drunk, distracted and aggressive driving.

Young drivers with developmental disabilities may be at increased risk for crashes due to impairments commonly associated these conditions.

Automated enforcement is widely used as a supplement to the traditional use of law enforcement officers. The use of photo enforcement technology has increased in recent years following societal questioning of the use of law enforcement officers for traffic enforcement, as well as increasing officer vacancy rates in many law enforcement agencies.

In recent years the role of traffic law enforcement, and its function, have changed. And the numbers of sworn law enforcement officers in many jurisdictions have declined due to increased vacancy rates. Many states have placed limitations on law enforcement personnel efforts to engage in traffic safety law enforcement in various ways.

The traffic safety community has worked for decades to put a taboo on impaired driving. While there remains a great deal of work still to do, progress has been made. For example, in recent years there has been anecdotal evidence of an increase in the number of individuals who drive to the end of a transit or commuter rail line, take transit or commuter rail into the city where they become impaired, take transit or commuter rail back to their car, and then drive home once returning to their car.

This project develops criteria for performance standards, identifies approaches, identifies factors to assess performance, develops statistical models, determines the optimal model and develops it into a tool for application, and tests the tool in various locations.

This report illustrates how the Strategic Highway Safety Program’s (SHRP2) Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) can be exploited to support an agenda for teen driver countermeasure development and evaluation.

Injuries from motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of workplace death and a top cause of death for most age groups in the workforce. Medically consulted injuries in motor-vehicle incidents totaled 5.4 million in 2021, and total motor-vehicle injury costs were estimated at $498.3 billion.