The National Academies

NCHRP 17-24 [Completed]

Use of Event Data Recorder (EDR) Technology for Roadside Crash Data Analysis

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Research Agency: Rowan University
Principal Investigator: H. Clay Gabler
Effective Date: 5/1/2002
Completion Date: 6/30/2004

Background: There is a critical need to obtain accurate and reliable "real-world" crash data to improve vehicle and highway safety. The use of Event Data Recorder (EDR) information has the ability to profoundly affect roadside safety. EDRs are capable of capturing vehicle dynamics data, such as vehicle speed; lateral and longitudinal acceleration-time histories; principal direction of force on the vehicle; the status of braking, steering, seat belt usage, and air bag deployment; and other valuable crash information. This represents a new source of objective data for the highway and vehicle safety community because it will provide a "real world" connection between controlled test results and actual field performance of vehicles and highway design features.

EDRs have the potential to capture a large number of crash-related and other data elements for a wide range of users with different data needs. The data elements related to improving vehicle safety and driver performance are being used, but little has been done to apply the data elements to roadside safety analysis. Research can identify data elements relevant to roadside safety and improve methods to retrieve, store, and access these data.

Objective: The objectives of this research are to (1) recommend a minimum set of EDR data elements for roadside safety analysis and (2) recommend procedures for the retrieval, storage, and use of EDR data from vehicle crashes.

Tasks: Accomplishment of the project objectives will require at least the following tasks: (1.) Synthesize the current U.S. and international literature on collection, storage, and use of EDR data for roadside and vehicle safety. Meet with a data collection agency to assess current EDR data collection techniques (2.) Identify existing and potential EDR data elements that could be used to improve vehicle and roadside safety. The EDR data elements shall be prioritized based on roadside safety analysis needs. (3.) Review the data elements that are currently recommended for collection in "Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria" (MMUCC) and identify those that can be more accurately and effectively collected using EDRs. Identify and prioritize, based on roadside safety needs, data elements not included in MMUCC that could be provided accurately and effectively using EDRs. (4.) Investigate current methods for initial retrieval and storage of, as well as subsequent use of, EDR crash data for roadside safety analysis. Identify key issues, problems, and costs associated with these methods. (5.) Prepare an interim report documenting the findings of Tasks 2 through 4 and meet in Washington, D.C. with the project panel approximately 1 month after submittal of the interim report. (6.) Recommend procedures for improved retrieval, storage, and use of EDR crash data. The recommendations shall consider, as a minimum, resource requirements, cost-effectiveness, legal acceptability, and public acceptance. Identify possible obstacles to implementing the recommended procedures. (7.) Submit a final report that documents the entire research effort.

Status: The project has been completed.

Product Availability: NCHRP Research Results Digest 298 summarizes the results of this project. The revised draft final report is available online as NCHRP Web-Only Document 75.

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