Enhancing Travel Safety for Children, Pedestrians, and Drivers

Adele Polson

Is your child in the appropriate car seat for his or her size? What are the stats on pedestrian fatalities in your state? Does your car have a recall notice you didn’t know about? Westat’s transportation and safety experts provide data on these key topics in support of 3 contracts for transportation safety advocacy groups. “Making travel safer is a key component of our mission,” notes Adele Polson, a Westat Senior Study Director, “and these data will continue to inform the public and policymakers, enhancing lives for all on the road.”  

National Digital Car Seat Check Form (NDCF). For the 4th year, Westat continues as a proud program partner for NDCF, along with the National Safety Council (NSC), Tennessee Tech iCube, AAA Mountain West Group, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NDCF provides a national, standardized data collection tool that allows certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs) and instructors to digitally document whether the child is in the appropriate car seat and document errors related to how the car seat has been installed. By digitally documenting what is observed and done at car seat checks using the NDCF, the data can be quickly cleaned and analyzed by Westat and into the hands of those who can most effectively use the data to educate end users and save children’s lives. Westat produces 3,000+ customized dashboards each month and will migrate to a cloud platform, allowing us to more efficiently serve the CPSTs. Learn more about this work: Collecting Car Seat Use Data to Help Save Lives

Pedestrian Spotlight. For the 2nd year, Westat will support the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) in developing and publishing its annual spotlight report: Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State. This report offers a comprehensive look at state and national trends in pedestrian deaths. Westat will once again apply analytic methods to available data to concisely identify and present key findings in ways easily understood by non-technical audiences. Our experts will create data visualizations using R, which reduces the chance of human error when interpreting the findings and allows graphics to be easily updated in future reports.

Check To Protect. Check To Protect is a national campaign led by NSC that encourages drivers to check the recall status of their vehicles and have open recalls fixed immediately. Drivers simply enter their vehicle ID number or license plate number in the Check To Protect website. Westat will produce dashboards to document how many drivers are checking for recalls and whether, once aware of the recalls, these owners are completing the needed repairs. The data will allow NSC to monitor its program and make adjustments if needed.

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