Completed Projects

Road Safety

Studies have found that a significant portion of vehicle crashes are caused by human errors. However, a vast body of research has demonstrated that certain modifications to highway infrastructure can decrease the probability that drivers will make errors; that errors will lead to crashes; and that crashes will result in life-altering injuries or death.

The purpose of this study was to estimate the reduction in serious injuries and deaths that could potentially be achieved through investment in highway infrastructure safety measures, and to estimate the level of investment required to achieve those benefits.

Teen Driver Safety

Compared to experienced drivers, new teen drivers need a longer time to acquire the necessary expertise to recognize and react to emerging situations or potential hidden threats on roadways. The work presented in this report developed a stand-alone, self-administered training module intended to accelerate the process of perceptual expertise for young, novice drivers. This training module was tested with a small sample of young drivers to examine its functionality and usability.

Safety Culture

Since 2006, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has been sponsoring research to better understand traffic safety culture. The Foundation’s long-term term vision is to create a “social climate in which traffic safety is highly valued and rigorously pursued.” In 2008, the AAA Foundation conducted the first Traffic Safety Culture Index (TSCI), a nationally representative survey, to begin to assess a few key indicators of the degree to which traffic safety is valued and is being pursued. The 2016 TSCI report continues this effort.

Drowsy Driving

The results of this study indicate that drivers who usually sleep for less than 5 hours daily, drivers who have slept for less than 7 hours in the past 24 hours, and drivers who have slept for 1 or more hours less than their usual amount of sleep in the past 24 hours have significantly elevated crash rates.

Safety Culture, Traffic Safety

The American Driving Survey is a data collection system, consisting of daily telephone interviews of a representative sample of the United States population. Respondents are asked to report all of the driving that they did over a 24-hour period the day before the interview. By aggregating results from interviews conducted each day, the data are used to estimate the average and total amount that Americans drive each year and to describe the driving that they do.

Road Safety

Previous research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that debris deposited on the roadway by motor vehicles contributed to an estimated 25,000 crashes which resulted in 81-90 deaths in the year 2001 (Forbes & Robinson, 2004). The purpose of this study was to update the previous study with the most recent data available.

Safety Culture, Aggressive Driving

The purpose of this study was to provide estimates of the prevalence of aggressive driving behaviors. The data analyzed were collected via a nationally-representative online survey of 2,705 licensed drivers aged 16 and older conducted in the United States in 2014.

Teen Driver Safety, Distracted Driving

A follow-on naturalistic study was conducted of teen drivers ages 16 - 19 involved in vehicle crashes between August 2013 and April 2015. There were 538 crashes during this interval, supplementing the original report's 1,691 teen driver crashes. Distraction-related, teen driver crashes due to cell phone use appear to be much more prevalent than is reflected in official government statistics.

Impaired Driving

While the exact relationship between cannabis use and increased risk for crash involvement remains unclear, cognitive and psychomotor effects of cannabis use in the period immediately after use can impact vehicle control and judgment and present some risk for deterioration in driving performance.