Past Special Studies

As part of its work for NHTSA, KLD has undertaken task order assignments for Special Studies that focus on specific issues of attention for NHTSA or in some cases FMCSA and other agencies. These studies tend to be from 1-2 years in duration, and are separately reported to the agency. Some illustrative studies over the years include:

  • CRSS Non-Sample
  • SHRP-2 Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS)
  • National Child Restraint Use Special Study (NCRUSS)
  • Identification of Vehicular Impact Conditions Associated with Serious Ran-Off-Road Crashes
  • National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS).
  • Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS)
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System Study (TPMS)
  • Pedestrian Crash Data Study (PCDS)

CRSS Non-Sample (NHTSA, 2016-2017)

To maintain statistical relevance in sampling data collected under the CRSS contract with NHTSA, KLD Associates conducted a special study to collect Non-Sample data for the 2016 calendar year. In each geographic Primary Sampling Unit (PSU), there are multiple police agencies that rarely report any crashes. These are generally added to the Non-Sample list, meaning that rather than including them in the main sample for case-selection and detailed coding, they are only categorized and counted. CRSS cases are not selected from Non-Sample police jurisdictions.

Starting in 2016 and completing in 2017 (when all 2016 crash reports were available) KLD Associates collected the CRSS Non-Sample data in 30 states from 1,294 Police Jurisdictions. Over 280,000 traffic crash reports were processed and counted for this Special Study. This study included many of the same tasks as the main CRSS Sampling contract, including:

  • Verify the existence of police agencies that respond to and reported traffic crashes.

  • Establish and maintain cooperation with reporting agencies for the length of the study.

  • Access and categorize the crash reports (i.e., Data Collection).

  • Conduct Quality Control operations to ensure a complete and accurate sample.

SHRP-2 NDS (TRB, 2010-2012)

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies conducted a Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) to support the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP-2). KLD Associates was subcontracted on this project to Battelle of Seattle (Washington State), to conduct data collection in that city. In this study, Battle subjected volunteer participants had some basic tests of their physical abilities, and then allowed the project to outfit their vehicles with instrumentation (including cameras and radar), and a Data Acquisition System to record their driving activities. When a study-vehicle was crashed, KLD’s Crash Technicians would collect supplemental investigative data for the study.

These data were used in multiple academic analysis projects, including Safety on Curves (Iowa State University), Rear-End Crashes (University of Minnesota), and Driver Inattention (Chalmers University, Sweden).

Child Restraint Use (NHTSA, 2011)

NHTSA conducted the National Child Restraint Use Special Study (NCRUSS) over 6 months in 2011, observing the use of car seats and booster seats for child passengers (birth to 8 years old) in 4,167 vehicles. The study also interviewed drivers on their attitudes and beliefs about car seats and booster seats as well as their confidence with installing them. The NCRUSS is a nationally representative survey.

KLD used certified Child Restraint Installers in 11 locations across the country to establish cooperation and collect data. Inspections of child restraint installation and interviews were conducted at daycare facilities, as children were being dropped off and other places such as fast food restaurants, etc.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System-Special Study (TPMS-SS) (NHTSA 2011)

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System-Special Study (TPMS-SS) was conducted in 2011, using a nationally representative sampling structure based on the primary sampling units (PSUs) of the National Automotive Sampling System. NASS personnel collected 6,103 complete vehicle observations (4,391 of which were equipped with TPMS) including tire pressure and temperature of all four tires. Only vehicles in the model year range 2004-2011 were surveyed.

Identification of Vehicular Impact Conditions Associated with Serious Ran-Off-Road Crashes (NCHRP 2007)

This research was developed for National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 17-22, entitled Identification of Vehicular Impact Conditions Associated with Serious Ran-Off-Road Crashes. The primary goal of NCHRP Project 17-22 was to identify the vehicle types, impact conditions, and site characteristics associated with serious injury and fatal crashes involving roadside features and safety devices.

NCHRP Project 17-22 is a retrospective examination of ran-off-road crashes by performing crash reconstruction of such crashes from the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) Crashworthiness Data System (CDS) by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The distribution of the impact speeds, angles, and orientations will be used to create a database that can then be used to identify a practical worst-case testing regimen. Real-world data on ran-off-road crashes helps designers spend safety dollars on improvements that will have the greatest likelihood of reducing serious injuries and fatalities. These improvements will also serve to foster the spectrum of commonly available roadside design alternatives for appropriate field conditions.

National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS) (NHTSA 2005-2007)

The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS) was designed to understand the events leading up to a motor vehicle crash is crucial in preventing the crash from occurring in the first place. A nationally representative sample of crashes was investigated from 2005 to 2007 with each crash involving at least one light passenger vehicle that was towed due to damage. Data was collected on at least 600 data elements to capture information related to the drivers, vehicles, roadways, and environment. In addition, the NMVCCS database includes crash narratives, photographs, schematic diagrams, vehicle information, as well as event data recorder (EDR) data, when available. This additional information is vital to researchers seeking to perform in-depth clinical reviews of crashes.

Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) (NHTSA & FMCSA 2001-2003)

The Large-Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) was a data collection project conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). LTCCS was the first national study that determined the reasons and associated factors contributing to serious large-truck crashes. Teams of trained researchers from NHTSA’s NASS program worked with state truck inspectors to collect nationally-representative data pertaining to the causes of serious large-truck crashes. The data collected by the LTCCS provide detailed descriptions about the crash environment (i.e., weather, road conditions, lighting conditions), vehicles involved in the crash (i.e., vehicle type, weight, cargo type, brakes, air bag status), and drivers (i.e., driving record, fatigue, sleep patterns, restraint use), as well as information about passengers and non-motorists involved in the large-truck crashes. Key factors that led to the crash were recorded to assist researchers in measuring associations between certain crash types and the events that led to the crash.

Pedestrian Crash Data Study (PCDS) (NHTSA 1994-1998)

A Pedestrian Crash Data Study (PCDS) used a subset of the nationally representative sampling structure based on the primary sampling units (PSUs) of the National Automotive Sampling System to collect detailed crash reconstruction data on pedestrian crashes from July 1994 until December 31, 1998. The data includes pedestrian crash circumstances, including pre-crash, at crash, and injury consequences for the 521 pedestrian crashes that were researched during the four-and-one-half years that the study was fully implemented.