Awarded New Investigator/Doctoral Dissertation Grant
Reducing Older Driver Injuries at Intersections
FOA Number: CE03-027 – New Investigator Training Awards for Injury Research
Project Period: 9/1/2003 – 8/31/2005
Application/Grant Number: 1 R49 CE623140-01
Principal Investigator: Dominique Lord, PhD
Texas A&M Research Foundation,
Texas Transportation Institute,
College Station, TX
There is a significant opportunity to ameliorate the greatest source of non-intentional injuries in the U.S. motor vehicle crashes through improved highway design practices, particularly at intersections, where the highest proportion of crashes result in serious injuries. Experience here and in other countries suggests that traffic conflicts and overall safety at intersections can be dramatically improved through the installation of modern roundabouts. But in the U.S., subjective data show that drivers, especially older drivers, fear what they perceive to be elevated demands and risks associated with roundabouts, and may avoid their use.
The intent of the planned research is to enhance the safety and mobility of persons aged 65 and over in the U.S. through more elder-friendly designs of roundabouts. The proposed study will be accomplished in four tasks that focus on: problem identification; selection of potential countermeasures; countermeasure evaluation; and documentation of research results, citing anticipated benefits in terms of the prevention of injuries related to automobile crashes involving older drivers. A product of this research will be recommendations for new guidelines for highway design developed for modern roundabouts, where the overall goal is to foster the use of these facilities by the group most at risk of injury due to intersection crashes.