Crash data tools improving, report claims

August 31, 2011

Detroit – New and improved measurement tools allow researchers to better assess the severity of traffic crash injuries, a new study from Wayne State University concludes.

The study summarized research on the statistical analysis of motor vehicle crash injury severity, and its lead author suggested “substantial progress” will continue in obtaining greater knowledge of crash outcomes.

“Ultimately, we’re trying to determine what the impacts of specific factors are on injury severity,” said Peter Savolainen, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in WSU’s College of Engineering. “With that information, we can then make informed decisions as to policies and programs aimed at reducing crash severity.”

Crash reports typically focus on the driver and leave out details on passenger information or the use of vehicle safety equipment, according to a WSU press release. However, new analytical tools are being used to study these issues and develop better models for assessing injury severity. These models can help improve traffic safety, the release said.

The study was published online in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention.