Influence of Infrastructure Design on Distracted Driving

Whether due to habitual behaviors or immediate deliberate decision-making, drivers engage in risky behaviors that shift attention away from the primary tasks of driving, increasing the likelihood of crashes. Traffic Safety Facts (NHTSA 2018) reported that 37,133 people were killed in crashes on U.S. roadways during 2017. Of these fatalities, 3,166 were in distraction-affected crashes, or 8.5% of total fatalities. The occurrence of distracted driving behaviors can be strongly influenced by features of the external world through which the person is driving. Some important features in this world are built structures, and it would be useful to determine the relationships between the presence, absence, location, or design of different built structures and the occurrence of distracted driving. The objective of this research is to develop and test a conceptual safety framework for evaluating the association between distracted driver behaviors and roadway and roadside infrastructure. The research should include, at a minimum, the following: (1) Reviewing research that describes the elements of driver distraction as related to roadway and roadside infrastructure; (2) Developing an operational definition of driver distraction; (3) Developing a working definition of infrastructure as it relates to the research objective; (4) Describing and evaluating existing public and private databases the could be used in the safety framework to evaluate the association between distracted driving behaviors and roadway and roadside infrastructure; (5) Defining, ranking, and justifying the prioritization of target populations for optimal safety outcomes; (6) Developing an infrastructure assessment toolbox (e.g., context, range of costs, implementation timeframes) for application in the safety framework; (7) Developing criteria and methods to evaluate distracted driver behavior and safety impacts; and (8) Demonstrating the efficacy of the conceptual safety framework using available databases.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $250000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project BTS-09

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program

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

    Governors Highway Safety Association

    444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 722
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Retting, Richard

  • Performing Organizations:

    Iowa State University, Ames

    Center for Transportation Research and Education
    2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
    Ames, IA  United States  50010-8664
  • Principal Investigators:

    Hallmark, Shauna

  • Start Date: 20190725
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210630
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01674400
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project BTS-09
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 2 2018 9:03PM