Empirical Analysis of VDOT Crash Data
Improving arterial safety, particularly reducing bike and pedestrian related crashes, is a top policy goal of VDOT, as stated in the VDOT State Bicycle Policy Plan and State Pedestrian Policy Plan. As the travel demand rebounds from their low in the pandemic, highway safety patterns may present new features and attract a lot of attention from traffic engineers and policy makers. During the pandemic, people started to walk and bike more, and such preferences for active travel modes may continue during the post-pandemic era. Recent anecdotal evidence shows that crashes involving cyclists and pedestrians may be also on the rise. Therefore, it is important to investigate the new trend of road safety during the post-pandemic era and identify factors that may have contributed to such a trend. This study investigates this issue using VDOT crash data from 2015 to the current. The data is geo-referenced and can be integrated with VDOT infrastructure data for further investigation. Using the ARCGIS software and VDOT data, potential findings could help engage stakeholders in more in-depth discussions of countermeasures and investment priorities for better transportation safety.
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