Center for Safety Equity in Transportation

rural • isolated • tribal • indigenous

Developing a Data-Driven Safety Assessment Framework for RITI Communities in Washington State

  • Active

    CSET Project #: 1905

    Project Funding: NPRA

  • Start Date: September 2019

    End Date: September 2020

    Budget: $300000

Project Summary

The roadway safety of the Rural, Isolated, Tribal, or Indigenous (RITI) communities has become an important social issue in the United States. Official data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows that, in 2012, 54 percent of all fatalities occurred on rural roads while only 19 percent of the US population lived in rural communities. Under the serious circumstances, this research aims to help the RITI communities to improve the roadway safety through the development of a roadway safety management system. Generally, roadway safety management system includes two critical components, the baseline data platform and safety assessment framework. In our Year 1 and Year 2 CSET projects, a baseline data platform, SafeNet, was developed by integrating the safety related data collected from the RITI communities in Washington State. This platform is capable of classifying data into groups for each RITI community and visualizing the accidents records on the map. Various roadway safety assessment methods have been developed to provide safety performance estimation, including historical accident data averages, predictions based on statistical models, results from before-and-after studies, and expert judgments made by experienced engineers. However, these systems are always used for a general situation, not targeting the RITI communities. In this research, a customized RITI communities safety assessment framework will be developed including the RITI special characterizes, such as the roadway safety cultural factors, local driving habit and training level. As a result, this project will identify and characterize the high-risk roadway areas of the RITI community in Washington State based on the customized RITI roadway safety management system. The research objectives of Year 3 project are as follows:

  • Develop roadway safety performance indices for each RITI community identified from Year 1 and Year 2 CSET projects. The developed indices include both quantitative and qualitative indices, such as crash data, road conditions, infrastructure system levels, local safety cultural factors, safety education levels.
  • Build safety assessment framework for RITI communities based on the developed roadway safety performance indices.
  • If necessary, develop new safety assessment methods regarding the specific RITI community data sources for the safety assessment framework.