Societal Costs of Traffic Crashes and Crime In Michigan: 2023 Update

Comparable and up-to-date cost data for traffic crashes and crime contribute to informed decision making about allocation of resources and are a critical component of improving safety on our roadways and in our neighborhoods. The goal for this study is to provide the most current cost information about the magnitude of burden imposed by traffic crashes and crime in Michigan. This report represents the seventh in the series of Societal Costs of Traffic Crashes and Crime in Michigan. Michigan-specific monetary and nonmonetary quality of life costs for victims of index crimes (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft) and traffic crashes were estimated by experts in the field of economics of traffic crashes and crimes. Monetary costs include costs of medical care, mental health, work loss, public services, adjudication and sanctioning, congestion and environmental factors, and property damage and loss. Quality of life costs are based on the current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration value of statistical life and adjusted for consistency between crimes and crashes.

Principal Investigator: Renée  St. Louis

New Methods to quantify functional strength for young children: Laboratory and Task Design Considerations

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute continued a rearch project, Sunday, February 26, 2023, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Strength data for children are needed to improve the safety of products. Currently, minimal information on strength is available for children under age 6 years. This paper describes the development of methods to measure functional, task-relevant strength for children ages 24 to 71 months. Strength measurement methods used for adults and older children must be adapted substantially to obtain meaningful data from this younger cohort. This paper discusses the challenges associated with gathering volitional, maximal force-generation capability for this age cohort with attention to applicability, repeatability, and reproducibility.

Principal Investigator: Monica L. H. Jones

New project helps get residents to medical appointments

No ride, no healthcare:  New project provides “mobility wallets” to get residents to medical appointments

Two University of Michigan researchers are part of a community-based research project to get Detroit- and Dallas-area residents to doctors’ appointments, pharmacies and other health care services that often are skipped or inaccessible due to a lack of transportation.

Researchers Tayo Fabusuyi, assistant research scientist at the U-M Transportation Research Institute, and Lu Wang, associate chair for research and professor of biostatistics at U-M’s School of Public Health, will analyze and document how health outcomes are impacted by mobility intervention. Statistics they will track include morbidity, mortality, loneliness, stress, life satisfaction, access to health care and missed health care appointments.

The project is funded by a recently announced 10-year, $12-million ComPASS grant from the National Institutes of Health. It will document changes—ideally improvements—in participants’ health once a new “mobility wallet” program is introduced. It is aimed at removing a leading barrier to healthcare access: transportation.

Principal Investigator: Tayo Fabusuyi

Photo of Cruise branded vehicle, white with red and technology on the roof of the vehicle.

Establishing a crash rate benchmark using large-scale naturalistic human ridehail data

This paper presents a study of human driving performance for the targeted geographic area of San Francisco.  The goal of the study was to generate a crash rate estimate that could be used as a human benchmark representing the crash rate for ridehail drivers driving in a lower-speed and dense urban driving environment.   

The study represents an unprecedented large-scale naturalistic ridehail data collection effort over a 2-year period from 2016 to 2018: a collaboration that took place between General Motors (GM), Cruise LLC, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). 

Principal Investigator: Carol Flannagan

ATTAIN Grant: UMTRI to receive $9.8m for C-V2X deployment

The connected environment that researchers are pursuing allows vehicles to communicate with each other, infrastructure, the cloud and cellular networks, as well as pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. Where the Safety Pilot Model Deployment program previously utilized short range communications, C-V2X utilizes cellular communications.

In addition to the 21 Ann Arbor intersections already retrofitted with roadside units for data sharing, the new deployment will update 51 more sites in the area with C-V2X. 

Those units include: 

  • 2 curve speed warnings
  • 4 pedestrian mid-block crosswalks
  • 39 intersections
  • 1 roundabout
  • 6 staging/test sites

UMTRI technicians will retrofit 100 vehicles with a low-cost aftermarket on-board unit. These vehicles will be used for coordinated testing with Michigan-based automobile manufacturers to accelerate vehicle deployment.

Principal Investigator: Jim Sayer

People in wheelchairs on a bus

Evaluating Wheelchair Crashworthiness for Potential Use as Aircraft Seating

Sponsor: National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)

Researchers: Kathleen D. Klinich, Miriam Manary, Nichole Orton, Kyle Boyle, Brian Eby, Jennifer Bishop


Approximately 3.6 million people in the US use wheelchairs, but they cannot currently use them on aircraft, preventing many from flying. Among those that transfer to airline seating, many report instances of their wheelchairs being damaged during transport, as well as discomfort, injury, and social stigma experienced while transferring to an aircraft seat.

A recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) consensus document determined that it should be feasible on most commercial aircraft to allow passengers to use their wheelchairs. However, wheelchairs would need to meet the FAA crashworthiness requirements for current aircraft seats. These consist of dynamic tests simulating frontal and vertical loading, plus static pull tests.

While voluntary, RESNA WC19 currently has standards for assessing frontal crashworthiness of wheelchairs used as seating in motor-vehicles. We hypothesize that wheelchairs meeting current RESNA standards for vehicles can meet the FAA crashworthiness requirements for airline seats. To test this hypothesis, we will construct adapted versions of the FAA test fixtures and test wheelchairs that meet current WC19 requirements under frontal, vertical, and static testing conditions. If needed, we would perform additional testing of wheelchairs with modifications made to improve their performance under FAA test conditions. We will also draft procedures that would adapt FAA seat testing standards so they can be used to evaluate wheelchairs.

Principal Investigator: Kathy Klinich

Students view vehicle equipped with technology including sensors and cameras.

Ground Truth Trip Recorder

This project is about creating a Ground Truth Trip Recorder (GTTR) that can be retrofitted to any AV and can serve as an independent, objective method for assessing its performance on the road, during on-road testing (similar to a driver’s license test).  This is a feasibility study for whether measurements can be precise, comprehensive, and automatable enough to support on-road testing and evaluation.

Principal Investigator: Carol Flannagan

One woman driving a car

Smart Drivers Smart Options (SDSO) and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Technology.

Sponsor: Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

The project’s objectives are to reduce crashes and associated injuries related to older drivers in Michigan and to improve the quality of life and independence of older adults and the unpaid caregivers that provide transportation assistance to Michigan older adults, through an expansion of the Safe Drivers Smart Options (SDSO) strategy to include information about advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technology. Activities include: gathering information about older drivers and ADAS technologies and organizing this information into a framework that can be added to the SDSO website; assessing awareness of the SDSO strategy in Michigan through surveys of the three target user groups for the SDSO strategy (Michigan older adults, Michigan informal caregivers who care for older for an older adult; and professionals who work with older adults on mobility-related issues); and integrating the ADAS information into the SDSO website and assist in marketing efforts.

Principal Investigator: David Eby, with Lisa Molnar, Renée St. Louis, Jennifer Zakrajsek.

Pedestrian crossing on Plymouth Road

V2P: Improving Pedestrian Safety

Connected Vehicle technology can be used to help prevent many types of crashes, including those between vehicles and pedestrians.  UMTRI researchers are examining two methods for detecting pedestrians crossing the road. By detecting pedestrians in the road, and by using technology deployed as part of the Ann Arbor Connected Environment, some drivers will be able to receive warnings in their vehicle about pedestrians in the road ahead.  

Read more

Statistical Human Shape Modeling

Biosciences researchers are international leaders in statistical analysis of human anthropometry, shape, and posture. Online public tools can predict human shape as a function of age, height, weight, and gender for use in computational models and ergonomic applications.

Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD)

Researchers from the Behavioral Sciences Group and their partners have undertaken a multisite prospective cohort study designed to generate empirical data for understanding the role of medical, behavioral, environmental and technological factors in driving safety during the process of aging.


Michigan Traffic Crash Facts

Automated Technology

Center for Connected and Automated Transportation

With a $2.4M grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the University of Michigan, along with its partners, has created the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT). CCAT aims to advance research in the field of transportation safety, mobility, and sustainability via connected vehicles, connected infrastructure, and autonomous vehicles.

Principal Investigator: Henry Liu

Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT)

Motion Sickness Research

UMTRI researchers have developed innovative methodologies for collecting data from volunteers and vehicles to develop models that predict likelhood of passenger motion sickness as a function of vehicle dynamics. Results can be used to guide automated vehicle behaviors where a driver is not present to notice passenger discomfort.

Principal Investigator: Monica Jones

Read more…

New Testing in the Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Environment

UMTRI and their industry partners have begun testing the simultaneous deployment of C-V2X and DSRC in the Ann Arbor Connected Environment (AACE).

Read more

UTMOST: Unified Theory for Mapping Opportunities in Safety Technology

UTMOST is a visualization tool that shows the current distribution of crashes, injuries, and fatalities and allows the user to simulate the changes that would occur when implementing different safety or legislative countermeasures.

Read more

Development of an Automated Wheelchair Tiedown and Occupant Restraint System

Researchers in the Biosciences group are working to make sure people who travel in wheelchairs can safely and independently travel in automated vehicles

Principal Investigator: Kathy Klinich

Read more