The SHRP2 safety research effort has created a naturalistic driving database as well as a roadway inventory database for the roads on which study participants traveled. These two databases are currently being linked together and will allow research on a wide range of safety and other topics. Lists of potential research projects have been developed by the SHRP2 program and through conversations with numerous stakeholders. In addition, several AASHTO committees and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) were surveyed for suggestions for research topics.
The wealth of information from the Naturalistic Driving Study database on driver behavior as it relates to interaction with the roadway environment will be able to enhance guidelines and policies in use by state DOTs and other practitioners. Publications such as the Green Book, Roadside Design Guide, Highway Safety Manual, MUTCD, and Human Factors Guide (NCHRP Report 600) geared toward road-user interaction with the roadway environment could be enhanced by research performed using the NDS database.
An NCHRP 20-7 project to evaluate the opportunities for using NDS data for research related to these publications would help demonstrate the value of the database to AASHTO committees, practitioners, and researchers, as well as provide direction to these groups interested in using NDS data to maximize the safety, operational, or other impacts of decisions about the roadway environment. Documenting these opportunities in a roadmap will support coordination of the potentially involved committees. Though AASHTO, FHWA, and TRB have been performing a significant amount of research on the SHRP2 safety data, a description of the data needs for general categories of safety research questions most likely of interested to the highway agencies would provide a resource for committees and researchers evaluating the feasibility of performing specific research using SHRP2 data. Since there are opportunities for researching non-safety topics, such as operations or environmental issues, information in this resource could help with coordinating research outside the safety field as well.
The primary objective of this research project was to determine opportunities for using SHRP2 safety data to enhance AASHTO and other publications frequently used by state DOT and other practitioners. The research would also provide guidance to AASHTO committees developing research problem statements using the SHRP2 data to allow for appropriate funding and time estimates. The report would ideally provide an overview of the available data and a description of data access, to serve as an introduction to AASHTO committees and researchers who have not been involved in the SHRP2 study for a long period.