Traffic Safety Culture Research Roadmap

NCHRP Research Report 1091 presents a research roadmap for promoting traffic safety culture (TSC) among state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other transportation safety agencies. The roadmap consists of 20 research need statements covering a broad set of research needs, since different agencies are at different stages of readiness for conducting TSC research. The need statements suggest projects that different agencies can undertake to shape their own organizational cultures, align their goals with those of their communities, and contribute to national traffic safety objectives. The roadmap should be of particular use to state DOTs and any other transportation safety agency seeking to understand TSC and identify relevant research needs to help build a positive TSC. As many states and localities adopt a vision of zero traffic fatalities, greater attention is being given to communication, collaboration, leveraging resources, and applying a systemic approach to traffic safety that requires a change in culture, both among road users and traffic safety agencies. This change in culture is tied to education, engineering, enforcement, and emergency services (hereafter, the 4E’s). The goal of a TSC is to develop a process for changing values and attitudes so that safety is part of every transportation decision, individual or organizational, for all users of the roadway transportation system. Promoting a positive TSC would support traffic safety goals by reducing risky behaviors and increasing protective behaviors, and by increasing public acceptance of other effective traffic safety programs. TSC is relatively new for traffic safety agencies, and these agencies do not typically have staff with TSC expertise. Furthermore, the lack of research on TSC has limited knowledge on how to apply TSC strategies either alone or in combination with the 4E’s. A TSC research roadmap could identify the critical research needed to identify practices, tactics, techniques, and tools that can be implemented by safety partner agencies. This roadmap could also address Strategic Highway Safety Plans and regional- or community-based safety programs and plans where a positive TSC could be a critical factor in eliminating traffic fatalities. Under NCHRP Project 17-96, “Traffic Safety Culture Research Roadmap,” the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill was asked to develop (1) a prioritized TSC research roadmap with stakeholder input that includes fully developed research problem statements suitable for submittal to NCHRP; (2) a communication plan to disseminate the research roadmap; and (3) a process management plan to systematically revisit research priorities to guide research and ensure its future relevancy. A total of 20 problem statements were developed, along with the communication and process management plans, with the roadmap indicating why each research need is critical to improving traffic safety, why it is important to safety partner agencies, and how these agencies could implement the results to improve traffic safety. In addition to NCHRP Research Report 1091, four deliverables are not included in the published report but are available on the TRB website at by searching for NCHRP Research Report 1091. The deliverables are as follows: (1) a conduct of research report summarizing the entire research effort, available as NCHRP Web-Only Document 382, Traffic Safety Culture Research Roadmap; (2) a communications plan for fostering dissemination of the research roadmap; (3) a process management plan for monitoring implementation of the research roadmap; and (4) a research brief summarizing the project objectives, scope, and deliverables.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $375000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 17-96

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Jared, David

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill, NC  United States  27514
  • Principal Investigators:

    Kumfer, Wesley

  • Start Date: 20210831
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01739575
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 17-96
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 19 2020 4:55PM