The National Academies

BTSCRP BTS-12 [Active]

State Practices Promoting Older Driver Safety

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Staff Responsibility: William C. Rogers
Research Agency: Cambridge Systematics
Principal Investigator: Pamela Beer
Effective Date: 5/4/2020
Completion Date: 1/3/2022
Comments: Research underway


The most recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that as of July 2015, 47.8 million people were age 65 and older in the United States.  This represents 14.0 percent of the total population.  By 2060 that number is projected to more than double to 98.2 million which will represent nearly one in four people living in the U.S, with 20 million 85 or older.  Unlike previous generations, the baby boom generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) will live and drive longer than their parents and grandparents.  While older adults tend to practice safe driving behaviors, the effects of aging may impact their driving ability.  What makes it difficult for highway safety countermeasures is that there is no specific age when any of these effects occur and to what degree someone can be affected.  Aging impacts people differently, but the fact remains that older adults accounted for 18 percent of all driver fatalities in 2017.

In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognized the issue and released Highway Safety Program Guideline No. 13, Older Driver Safety.  It stated that states should have a program to reduce older driver crashes, fatalities, and injuries.  Each state older driver safety program should address driver licensing and medical review of at-risk drivers, medical and law enforcement education, roadway design, and collaboration with social services and transportation services providers.  It is unclear to what extent state highway safety offices are addressing this guideline or preparing to meet the increased challenges of the older driver population in the future. 



The objective of this research is to develop a guide for state highway safety offices to enhance older driver safety based on Highway Safety Program Guideline No. 13, Older Driver Safety.  The guide should include tools, policy alternatives, educational strategies and messages, and other relevant approaches to promote the safety of older drivers, and, by extension, all road users.




The BTSCRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach for meeting the research objective.


The research plan should delineate the tasks required to produce the information and materials necessary to accomplish the research objective.  At a minimum, the tasks should include the following:

  • Determine the degree to which states have implemented Highway Safety Program Guideline No. 13, Older Driver Safety;
  • Identify the challenges for implementing various elements of the Guideline;
  • Describe effective approaches for implementing the Guideline;
  • Summarize evaluations and lessons learned associated with effective (or ineffective) efforts to implement the Guideline;
  • Summarize the results of outcome evaluation efforts;
  • Develop a tool and methods to optimize resource allocation when implementing elements of the Guideline;
  • Provide examples of targeted safety behavior messages, educational materials, and outreach programs to mitigate risks and gaps; and
  • Propose strategies to evaluate the guide.

The proposed work plan must be divided into phases.  Each phase must be organized by task, with each task described in detail.  A kick-off teleconference of the research team and BTSCRP shall be scheduled within 1 month of the contract’s execution.


Phase I will consist of information gathering and a refinement of the work plan for subsequent phases, culminating in the submission of an interim report describing the work completed in Phase I, along with a refined scope of work for Phase II based on the research findings.  An in-person meeting will be held with BTSCRP to discuss the results of the Phase I tasks.  BTSCRP approval of the Phase I interim report is required before work can commence on subsequent phases.  The project schedule shall include 1 month for BTSCRP review and approval of the interim report.


Phase II shall consist of the BTSCRP-approved Phase II work plan and the development of the final deliverables.


The final deliverables shall include (1) the guide for state highway safety offices to enhance older driver safety based on Highway Safety Program Guideline No. 13, Older Driver Safety; (2) a final report documenting the entire project and incorporating all other specified deliverable products of the research; (3) an electronic presentation of the guidance that can be tailored for specific audiences; (4) recommendations for additional research; and (5) a stand-alone memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products (see Special Note B for additional information.)


Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for BTSCRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.




A. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.


B. The BTSCRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of BTSCRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state highway safety offices and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project.


C. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the BTSCRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.


D. Proposals are evaluated by the BTSCRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.

Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal. 

E. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.


F. Resumes for proposed key staff should be limited to 3 pages for each.  The research approach shall be limited to 15 pages.  This does not include the detailed budget or the detailed schedule.




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