The University of Akron is part of the consortium of universities recently awarded $2.6 million by the United States Department of Transportation to create one of 10 Regional University Transportation Centers (UTC). UA is part of the Region 5 UTC, which is led by the University of Minnesota and also includes the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Southern Illinois University and Western Michigan University. The consortium will focus on targeted research, education, and technology transfer aimed at determining and delivering the next wave of transportation safety improvements.
“Our approach allows us to treat transportation safety in an integrated fashion,” says Dr. William H. Schneider, associate professor of civil engineering. “Recognizing that transportation safety is not only about the physical network of roads, highways, and bike/pedestrian lanes—it is also about the behavior patterns of travelers.”
Led by Dr. Schneider, UA will provide hot spot analysis (HSA), a geospatial analysis tool, to identify risk areas for impaired driving based on existing locations of related arrests and crashes. The research will include working with police agencies to obtain arrest data and mapping areas of high risk. The goal is an initial increase in impaired driving arrests, which would lead to a long-term decrease in impaired-driving crashes, fatalities, and injuries by getting impaired drivers off our region’s roads.