PacTrans: Safety Data Management and Analysis: Assessing the Continuing Education Needs for the Pacific Northwest, Analysis of Options

AIDC project number:


Kevin Chang (UAF)

Cynthia Chen (UW)

Robert Perkins (UAF)

Ali Hajbabaie (WSU)

Shane Brown (OSU)



  • Start Date: Dec 16, 2015
  • End Date: Dec 15, 2016

Project Documents

Project Final Report

Project Summary

Recent advancements in data collection capabilities have allowed transportation-related agencies to collect mountains of safety data. There is an immediate need to find out what types of safety data are being collected, what types of safety analysis can be done with the collected data, and what (other) types of safety data and analysis approaches are required to meet the
safety objectives.

Extensive collection efforts exist with regard to roadway, traffic, licensing, and vehicle data. For example, there are over five million traffic crashes reported annually in the United States, and vehicle crashes on public highways alone result in over 840,000 injuries and 1,700 fatalities annually [1]. The documentation process for every single one of these crashes must begin at the scene of the incident with information gathered by a member of the law enforcement community or by the private citizen(s) involved in the crash. This information is subsequently transmitted to a local or state agency for data entry, processing, and aggregation for the purpose of future analysis.

With the increased complexity of various safety data management and analysis activities, and with most transportation agencies faced with limited staff and financial resources, there is opportunity to providing the transportation workforce, which includes practitioners and academicians alike, with the resources needed to effectively understand, manage and analyze safety data. Safety data collection, management, integration, improvement, and analysis activities are integral to developing a robust data program that leads to more informed decision making, better targeted safety investments, and overall improved safety outcomes.

The objectives for the project respond to the current gaps in research and identify a methodology that will benefit all system users. These objectives include the following:

• Develop a comprehensive understanding of needs and priorities with regard to safety data management and analysis;

• Develop a set of core skills and knowledge required for safety data management and analysis;

• Provide a comprehensive set of safety data workforce development resources that can easily be accessed for use and distribution; and

• Identify and utilize proven delivery pipelines to supplement program outreach efforts and activities in the safety data area.

In doing so, this research effort will help support regional transportation safety decision making, a critical resource not currently available in the Pacific Northwest.