Transportation Forensics and Risk Management Resources

The following is a listing of the most recent publications for this topic.

ITE Quick Bite (CAV): Moving Intelligent Work Zones from the Work Zone to Connected and Automated Vehicle Applications
Every year there are approximately 800 work zone fatalities and more than 100 fatalities among workers in work zone-related crashes. The impacts on the families of victims are immeasurable. Increased efforts are needed to maintain the aging U.S. transportation system, as this aging system is causing safety and mobility concerns associated with work zones to worsen over time. The use of Intelligent Work Zone (IWZ) systems can help mitigate these impacts.
Feb 27, 2022
A Time of Day Analysis of Pedestrian-Involved Crashes in California: Investigation of Injury Severity, a Logistic Regression and Machine Learning Approach Using HSIS Data
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), in 2016, 5,987 pedestrians died in the United States, or 16 people every day, for one year. More specifically, California, USA stands among the top five states for motor vehicle collisions and was ranked first with respect to pedestrian traffic fatalities, with 867 in 2016.1 Compared to vehicle-to-vehicle collisions, pedestrian-involved crashes typically result in more severe injuries and fatalities. In fact, pedestrians are threatened by a higher risk of injuries and death, especially in poorly designed roadways with less consideration for pedestrian safety. Although incorporating safety policies into traffic operations, such as law enforcement strategies, has resulted in some safety improvements, the trendline of pedestrian fatalities still illustrates a steady increase over the past 10 years (from 4,699 fatalities in 2007 to 5,987 fatalities in 2016).
Oct 1, 2019
Factors Influencing Crash Severity at Rural Horizontal Curves in Maine
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in 2008 nearly one-fourth of the fatalities occurred at horizontal curves. Particularly, fatality rates at rural horizontal curves are more than twice than that at urban horizontal curves. Fatal-and-injury (FI) (i.e., incapacitating injury crash, non-incapacitating crash, and possible injury crash) crashes accommodate roughly half the number of total crashes. Hence, addressing the safety problem at horizontal curves is one of FHWA's three focus areas. The Strategic Highway Safety Plan prepared by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) also counts crashes at horizontal curves as one of 22 emphasis areas.
May 1, 2019
The Use of Intelligent Transportation Systems in Risk and Emergency Management for Road Transport Planning and Operation
Road transport quality is critical to a country's overall development and sustainable growth. Managing road transportation networks is challenging due to uncertainties induced from related activities, such as agency management, program development, project delivery, maintenance, and operational aspects.
Jan 7, 2019
Tort Liability and Risk Management Module: What A Transportation Engineer Needs to Know About the Legal Process - PDF
Tort Liability and Risk Management Module: What A Transportation Engineer Needs to Know About the Legal Process
Jan 17, 2018
Tort Liability and Risk Management Module: What A Transportation Engineer Needs to Know About the Legal Process - PPT
Tort Liability and Risk Management Module: What A Transportation Engineer Needs to Know About the Legal Process
Jan 17, 2018
Trial of the Century!!!
This session demonstrates the courtroom events and the various facets of the testimony process that public agency, transportation consultants, and expert witnesses may experience. Attendees will observe the qualifications process, evidence in chief, cross-examination, and counsel challenges. The case study is a motor vehicle collision herein there are allegations that poor road design and inadequate traffic control devices are alleged. Specific aspects and examples of risk management will be incorporated into the trial script. At the conclusion of the demonstration attendees will be given the opportunity to comment and ask questions of the mock trial participants.
Aug 1, 2017
So You Want To Become An Expert (PDF)
So You Want To Become An Expert (PDF)
Jan 9, 2013
Liabilities of Public Agencies’ Intelligent Transportation Systems Projects
This study identified the liability of transportation management agencies operating ITS. Many deployed technologies are relatively new, the public agencies that operate them face liability risks and information about this topic is scarce. Successful risk management can benefit state transportation agencies.
Jul 1, 2008
Liability and Risk Management Associated with At-Grade Pedestrian Crossings
Lawsuits alleging negligent design of pedestrian crossings are easier to bring because of conflicting research and standards.
Dec 1, 2006
Improving Work Zone Safety at the Local Level
The City of Hampton, Virginia recognized that construction and maintenance work zone setups by city and contractor crews needed major improvement. The Traffic Engineering and Operations Division of the Department of Public Works then developed a comprehensive in-house training program on work zone safety. A 16-hour, multi-day training course was developed with the primary course reference being Part VI of the MUTCD and the Virginia Work Area Protection Manual. Supplemental materials on risk management, legal liability, local requirements, and sample problems are included as part of the course. In addition to the classroom instruction, all course attendees are required to participate in a team field exercise where they setup a full work zone. The course concludes with a written examination to test the participants understanding of the course. All who pass the exam receive a certificate. To maintain the long term emphasis on work zone safety, all participants who attend the 16-hour course are required to attend a one-day refresher course every two years. This mini-course covers the basic principles of work zone safety and also provides a means of keeping everyone abreast of the latest updates. With the successes gained from the in-house training course, a free one-day workshop was developed specific to contractors and utility companies. This classroom only course covers the basic principles of work zone safety. This training program has resulted in an increased awareness of work zone safety on city streets, which has enhanced the safety of both workers and the driving public.
Aug 1, 2004
Accidents and Risk Management
Risk management is defined as the identification, measurement and treatment of exposure to potential crashes and tort liability. It is important that we recognize and fully understand exposure to potential crashes. These very words point toward a proactive approach to traffic crash problems. A dangerous situation on a roadway that might not have had any accidents in the past does not mean that there will not be any in the future. Therefore, one must consider other variables besides past crash history in the assessment of potential risks. This paper discusses the uses of such objective and subjective parameters in the assessment of potential risk in a few communities in the State of Michigan, as well as policy and program oriented mitigation strategies.
Mar 1, 1996
Roadway Defect Surveillance: A Personal Computer-Based System
Roadway defect surveillance is a necessity for highway agencies to avoid costly tort claims. A roadway safety defect is a feature or condition that could lead to events that might result in traffic crashes. The author developed a methodology called the Highway Risk Management System, which helps identify, measure, and mitigate traffic crashes, crash potential, and risk related to tort liability. In the Highway Risk Management System, an interactive, user-friendly software manages citizens' complaints and employee report data. This article focuses on the computer-based complaint system and its application in the Highway Risk Management System.
Aug 1, 1995
The Effectiveness of Signing in Risk Management
Local highway networks usually have developed less than adequate systems when it comes to highway signs. Since most of these roads obviously won't be rebuilt because of a lack of funding, common sense says motorists should be given better warning of bad condition areas via traffic signs, even better warnings than those used on higher volume roads of high design standards. This paper examines the benefit of increased and better use of traffic signs by small governmental agencies to increase safety and enhance risk management efforts.
Aug 1, 1992
The Road Commission for Oakland County's Highway Risk Management Program
The pioneering Highway Risk Management Program of the Road Commission for Oakland County was initiated in September 1977. At that time, the Board of Road Commissioners, responding to escalating liability losses, adopted a policy endorsing greater highway safety and directing the Managing Director to develop a risk management plan and implement a meaningful traffic safety and loss control program to prevent or reduce the incidence and severity of accidents and losses. With this directive, the Highway Risk Management Program was established. The announcement of safety as the number one priority of the Road Commission prompted significant organizational changes. A Risk Management Office was established to coordinate the program, and a comprehensive committee structure was established to review policies and procedures in regard to impact on liability and loss potential.
Sep 1, 1991
An Overview of Risk Management and the Michigan Training Program
The subject of tort liability arising out of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of highways has received widespread attention in the past few years. The government is responsible for providing transportation services. However, it is not the absolute insurer of the safety of highway users. The total resources of any road agency are limited and, therefore, it is not realistic to expect that road agencies can keep the roads and highways in an absolutely safe state. The courts have consistently concluded that road agencies are required to maintain streets and roads in a reasonable safe condition. Failure to do so may result in liability if a road user suffers an injury or fatality. It is important that agency personnel understand some of the general principles involved in tort liability. Of interest here are principles which deal specifically with accident cases in which there are alleged errors and/or omissions in construction, design and maintenance of roadways.
Sep 1, 1991
The Other Side of Liability
This article discusses the complaint-based risk management system that addresses risk in general and low-severity risk in particular. It shows that by controlling and minimizing low-severity risk, resources can be managed more effectively in the battle to minimize high-severity risk. It also shows that using citizen complaints in the street management function is a very good public relations tool that can help promote the overall transportation function.
May 1, 1989
Improve Inspections and Reviews to Reduce Liability
This, the first of a two-part article, identifies system conditions that could lead to liability exposure. A liability reduction strategy will expose threats in timely a manner. The basic factors in a risk management scheme are as follows: recognizing the degree of legal risk inherent in programs and actions; ensuring available resources are used to achieve maximum risk reduction; preparing timely defensive response for actual or threatened legal actions; and managing claims for resolution and economy. Knowledge of problems is a major requirement. System inspection and monitoring will aid in timely notice. Techniques maximizing information regarding problem notification are listed and discussed. Information management will help to ensure that an identified problem remains active until solutions are found.
Jan 1, 1988
Highway Risk Management Traffic Control Devices
Subjects discussed deal with the laws relating to traffic control devices; inventory of devices; replacing devices at the end of the warranty life; and enforcing state traffic control device specifications and standards.
Jan 1, 1980