Traffic Safety

Traditionally, CAPS has had a strong interest in traffic safety, since at its outset crash records were the focus of most CAPS research and development efforts. While this has led to many other law enforcement, homeland security and medical areas, traffic safety remains a major emphasis area in both CAPS’ software development and research work. This is evidenced by the continual development and enhancement of those aspects within the Critical Analysis Reporting Environment (CARE) that have their primary application to traffic safety (e.g., the automated specification of crash locations).

CARE is the exclusive analytical software used in Alabama to process traffic crash data.

Analytical applications include:

  • Planning: the establishment of goals and the comparison of crash types to create and enhance countermeasures for the State of Alabama Highway Safety Plan (HSP) that is submitted to NHTSA and the Alabama Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) that is submitted to FHWA.
  • Problem Identification: the process of going from the raw crash data to the conception of countermeasures and the determination of the potential of those countermeasure to reduce crash fatalities
  • High crash location determination and countermeasure evaluation: deterimined in general and for specific driver and roadway contributing factors (e.g., speed, intersections and any all other aspects of crashes that need to be considered by location)

This information is used to improve roadway characteristics and to focus enforcement efforts.

CARE is also used to perform before-after and parallel studies to determine countermeasure effectiveness so that there can be continual improvement in all aspects of the State’s traffic safety programs.

Traffic safety related studies, reports, and campaigns are avilable under Outreach.