The 2020 wave of data collection for the California Traffic Safety Study was conducted with an online panel of California drivers instead of an intercept interview, as were previous waves of data collection. This decision was made due to the COVID-19 pandemic occurring in 2020, and the need for an alternative data collection mode avoiding in-person contact between field interviewers and respondents. The survey questions and data analysis of survey items presented in this report are similar to previous waves of the survey, including survey items on traffic safety opinions and knowledge on traffic safety campaigns, distracted driving and perceptions about pedestrian and bicycle traffic interactions.
The participants for the online survey panel were obtained through Qualtrics, a commercial panel vendor utilizing multiple subcontractors, to provide a representative cross-section of pre-screened and qualified respondents. The panel was implemented anonymously and with distinct quota cell percentage ranges per age group and an equal gender distribution to match the field data collected in previous years as much as possible. Additionally, the presumed proportion of completed surveys by survey region was matched as closely as possible, although the overall number of completed surveys was higher this year than in previous years. Overall, 2,867 eligible panelists completed the online survey in 2020, while 1,298 completed intercept surveys in 2019.