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UMTRI paper wins Patricia F. Waller Award

August 3, 2011

Three members of UMTRI's Vehicle Safety Analytics Group have won the prestigious Patricia F. Waller award presented by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) for the best paper in road safety. Their 2011 paper is titled "Tractor Trailer Rollover Prevention: The Effectiveness of Electronic Stability Control Systems."

Coauthors of the paper are John Woodrooffe, head of UMTRI's Vehicle Safety Analytics Group, associate research scientist Daniel Blower, and assistant research scientist Paul E. Green. Their paper reports on the effectiveness of electronic-stability control systems (ESC) and roll-stability-control systems (RSC) in preventing heavy-truck tractor-semitrailer rollover.

The study combines hardware-in-the-loop simulation with the analysis of independent crash datasets using engineering and statistical techniques to estimate the probable safety benefits of stability-control technologies for five-axle tractor-semitrailer vehicles. The paper documents part of a study conducted by UMTRI under a cooperative agreement between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Meritor WABCO to examine the performance of electronic stability-control systems and roll-stability-control systems for heavy-truck tractor-semitrailers.

The six finalists nominated for the 2011 Waller Award gave brief presentations of their papers during an August 3 webinar, during which the winning paper was announced. Visit the TRB website to see the top six road safety papers from the 2011 annual meeting.

The Waller award was established to recognize the best paper for a particular year, submitted for the TRB annual meeting (presentation and publication) in highway safety. The award is in memory of Dr. Patricia F. Waller, a clinical psychologist, researcher, and advocate for policy reform in transportation safety and injury control. Waller served for twenty years as associate director of the University of North Carolina's School of Public Health, was founding director of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, and concluded her career as director of UMTRI.

Photo by Joyce Daniels, UMTRI