MPC Research Reports
|Title:||Pilot Study to Assess Sustained and Multifaceted Traffic Safety Activity on North Dakota's Rural Roads|
|Authors:||Andrea Huseth, Kimberly Vachal, Laurel Benson, and Mark Lofgren|
|Publication Date:||Apr 2011|
|MPC Project #:||329|
|Keywords:||safety, rural transportation, transportation systems, safe travel, public services, safe driving|
North Dakota consistently experiences a relatively high level of crashes and injuries on rural roads, considering lane miles and vehicle miles traveled. Approximately 55% of the state's travel, in vehicle-miles, takes place on rural roads. North Dakota fatal crash reports from 2003 to 2007 show that 89% of serious injuries, including fatal and disabling injuries, occurred on rural roads. The state continues to assess and deploy resources to reduce crashes and injuries on rural roads as outlined in work plans such as the Highway Safety Improvement Plan and the Highway Safety Plan. An important aspect of successfully pursuing a state and federal emphasis on rural road safety is to understand the effectiveness of individual and coordinated safety interventions. The overall goal of this project was to measure effectiveness for alternative levels of intervention designed to heighten awareness and safety on rural roads in a targeted corridor. A multi-county case study was designed to include sustained and multifaceted safety interventions. Two counties in North Dakota were selected to be included in a designated Traffic Safety Corridor where safety interventions would occur. Another county beyond the corridor was monitored as a control case. Metrics used to measure effectiveness were a multi-phase driver survey, direct seat belt observations which occurred pre-intervention, mid-intervention, and post-intervention, and county-level crash/citation data. Overall, results of this research indicate that the project interventions that were implemented had little effect on overall seat belt use of the targeted counties.