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Southeastern Transportation Center

Comprehensive Transportation Safety

Stephen H. Richards, Director

DeAnna Flinchum, Co-Director

University of Tennessee, Knoxville


STC: Improving Highway Safety Since 1994

For more than two decades, the STC has continuously funded transportation safety research projects that address topics such as older drivers, pedestrian safety, roundabouts, motor carrier safety, port security, taxi cab partitions, school bus safety, and work zone safety. Most recently, under the 2013 Regional UTC grant, STC pursued four major research initiatives:

  • Crash Modification Factors and the Highway Safety Manual
  • Integrated Simulation and Safety
  • Exploring Socio-Demographic Characteristics in Differential Safety Performance across Geography
  • Big Data for Safety Improvement

These initiatives are all multi-year, multi-university projects, identified through a survey of our regional state DOTs’ research needs.

Also under the 2013 Regional UTC grant, we have completed 13 O&E research projects that address safety concerns of regional and national importance: wrong way driving; teen cell phone misuse; automated aerial traffic surveillance; emergency traffic signal pre-emption; and older driver safety. In addition, we just initiated five new projects to investigate safety issues associated with connected and autonomous vehicles and infrastructure:

  • Connected/Automated Vehicles: Partial Adoption Issues
  • Connected Vehicles & Combating Wrong-way Driving
  • Connected Vehicle Big Data Infrastructure Resilience
  • Safety Performance Indices in Connected Vehicle Environment
  • Security Platform for Vehicle to Infrastructure Networks

Results from our research have been used by agencies and private sector firms for policy analysis, planning, design, operations, and system management. One example is UCF’s 2014 O&E grant: Evaluating the Wrong-Way Driving Incidents Problem on the Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) Roadway System, which developed criteria for locating wrong way countermeasures, and provided input from the public and law enforcement on countermeasure preferences. An innovative wrong way Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB), preferred by both the public and law enforcement, is being installed and tested by the FTE on Central Florida’s S.R. 417.

STC Consortium

Nine universities in the Southeast comprise the Southeastern Transportation Center:

  • The University of Tennessee, lead institution
  • The University of Alabama
  • The University of Alabama Birmingham
  • The University of Central Florida
  • The University of South Florida
  • The University of Kentucky
  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Clemson University