Data collection

A 3D Computer Simulation Test of the Leibowitz Hypothesis

Barton, Joseph E.
Cohn, Theodore E.

Do large objects appear to approach more slowly than smaller objects traveling at the same speed? If so then this might help explain the inordinately high accident rates involving large vehicles such as buses and trains. To test this, this study constructed an experiment using a 3D visual simulator in which different sized textured spheres approached at different speeds. We found that observers consistently judged the smaller sphere to be the faster, even in cases where the larger sphere was traveling at up to twice the speed of the smaller. Analysis of these results suggests that the...

Evaluation of Countermeasures: A Study on the Effect of Impactable Yield Signs Installed at Intersections in San Francisco

Banerjee, Ipsita
Ragland, David R.

The present study evaluated the effect of impactable signs that used the yield-symbol as approved by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) in the 2003 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Impactable yield signs are low-cost signs constructed of flexible material. The signs were installed in the medians adjacent to crosswalks at selected non-signalized intersections to instruct drivers to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. This paper examines the effect on safety characteristics of the intersections of these signs at three stop-sign controlled...

Child Restraint Use: Workbook and Guide for Evaluating Community-based Programs

Ragland, David R.
Geyer, Judy A.
Cooper, Jill F.

The leading cause of injury and death for children in California is motor vehicle crashes. To prevent these needless tragedies, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, funds child passenger safety programs throughout the state. This workbook is designed to be used by these local programs to 1) evaluate the impact of their activities on child restraint use, 2) evaluate results to improve or modify the programs as needed, and 3) meet contractual evaluation requirements. Program evaluations can be difficult for local programs due...

Keeping Children Safe in Cars

Cooper, Jill F.

Low-income children face twice the risk of dying from crash-related injuries compared to children from higher income families. To increase safety for these children, the California Health Care Safety Net Institute and the UC Davis Medical Center launched the Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Initiative with funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The initiative ran from April, 2001, through September, 2003, and had these goals: to increase safety seat use among families using public health care services; to decrease the rate of safety seat misuse among these families; and to...

Exploring Factors Influencing Bicyclists’ Perception of Comfort on Bicycle Facilities

Li, Zhibin
Wang, Wei
Zhang, Yuanyuan
Lu, Jie
Ragland, David R.

The primary objective of this study is to investigate the physical environmental factors influencing bicyclists‟ perception of comfort on physically separated bicycle paths and on-street bicycle lanes. We also look extensively at comparing the perception of comfort and the contributing factors between the two facility types. Field investigations were conducted at 43 segments on bicycle facilities in the metropolitan area of Nanjing, China. Bicyclists‟ perception of comfort and various environmental conditions were collected. We used an ordered probit (OP) model to analyze the data. Data...

Quantifying the Performance of Countermeasures for Collision Concentration Related to Ramp/Freeway Mainline Junctions

Lee, Joon Ho
Chan, Ching-Yao
Ragland, David R.

This study performed before-and-after analyses (comparisons of collisions before and after the construction of auxiliary lanes) on collision rate at nine study sites in California in order to achieve two objectives: (i) to estimate the freeway Crash/Collision Reduction Factor (CRF) for auxiliary lanes, and (ii) to develop design guidelines for the construction of auxiliary lanes. Findings indicate that on average, collision rates decreased by 17.3 percent at nine study sites. The study also found that after construction of auxiliary lanes at two study sites, collision rates increased when...

Identifying Factors that Determine Bicycle and Pedestrian-Involved Collision Rates that Affect Bicycle and Pedestrian Demand at Multi-Lane Roundabouts

Arnold, Lindsay S.
Flannery, Aimee
Ledbetter, Lauren
Bills, Tierra
Jones, Michael G.
Ragland, David R.
Spautz, Laura

This project examined the safety and demand issues for pedestrians and bicyclists at multi-lane roundabouts through a literature review, case studies, in-field counts and surveys, focus groups, and video analysis. This document presents research findings, synthesizes current information on best practices, and makes recommendations to assist local agencies planning and designing safer multi-lane roundabouts. These findings should help local agencies and Caltrans create roundabouts that better and more safely address the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians. The current literature is referred...

Bicycle Helmet Use: Workbook and Guide for Evaluating Community-Based Programs

Geyer, Judy
Cooper, Jill F.
Ragland, David R.

Two thirds of bicycle deaths occur as a result of traumatic brain injury; 88% of these injuries can be prevented by a helmet. In 1994, the State of California passed a law requiring all bicyclists under the age of 18 to wear helmets. Despite these legal obligations, many bicyclists still do not wear helmets. The estimates of bicycle helmet use is disparate throughout the state, with some communities reporting up to 80% use and others, especially inner-city areas, reporting less than 10% use.

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) provides grants for bicycle helmet education...

Development of a Variable Speed Limit Strategy Based on Car Following Behaviors for Improving Freeway Safety Under Severe Weathers

Li, Zhibin
Liu, Pan
Li, Ye
Xu, Chengcheng
Yu, Hao
Zhang, Yuanyuan

Severe weather reduces sight distance and increases stopping distance of traveling vehicles. Traffic collisions are likely to occur when vehicles encounter traffic congestions on freeways under severe weathers. The primary objective of this study is to develop a control strategy of variable speed limit (VSL) to improve freeway safety in different types of weather conditions. The control strategy aims to reduce vehicle speeds gradually prior to congestions. A car-following model was used to simulate the behaviors of drivers in different visibility and road adhesion conditions. The...

Centrality Characteristics of Road Network Patterns of Traffic Analysis Zones

Zhang, Yuanyuan
Wang, Xuesong
Zeng, Peng
Chen, Xiaohong

Road network patterns can affect traffic performance, travel behavior, and traffic safety. Thus, a deep understanding of the properties of different network patterns can provide useful guidance for design and improvement of road systems. The aim of this study is to build a relationship between graphical and topological features of road network patterns of traffic analysis zones (TAZ) and, on the basis of this relationship, to offer a measure that can quantitatively distinguish different graphical pattern types. Toward this goal, a topological analysis measure, centrality, is applied to...