Research In Action

Research In Action

Partnering to Catalyze Traffic Safety
Partnering to Catalyze Traffic Safety 

Our nation’s Road to Zero, Safe Systems, and Federal State Highway Safety Plans collectively call for innovative and bold approaches to advance traffic safety. Optimizing these approaches requires that we have high-quality data available in order to keep our fingers on the pulse of the traffic safety landscape.

We need to do this, in particular at the community level, so that the right solutions can be implemented in the right places. Additionally, as safety technology among traditional transportation modes evolves and new transit options quickly emerge, collection and analysis of the data needed to inform standards for safety must be conducted in a reimagined way.

Seeing this urgent need, the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is partnering with the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS) to establish the NJ-SHO Center for Integrated Data. The Center will serve as a forum to share important injury, safety, and transportation equity information to stakeholders across the state.

It will help fulfill an important objective of the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) to facilitate access to data analytic expertise to guide and evaluate local and state-wide solutions for reducing the burden of injuries and deaths.

The Center’s website will feature interactive data visualizations that will enable users for the first time to compare transportation safety and injury metrics over time, by community, and by population characteristics. The website will be powered by data from the New Jersey Safety and Health Outcomes (NJ-SHO) Data Warehouse, a unique collection of linked administrative data sets from NJ on traffic safety and health outcomes that currently contains more than 80 million records on 22 million NJ residents including: driver licensing histories; traffic-related citations and license suspensions; police-reported motor vehicle crashes; birth certificates; death certificates; hospital discharges; CHOP electronic health records; and residential community indicators.

For more than a decade and with support from a variety of funders, my research team has been conducting rigorous research using this innovative resource to address critical, high-priority issues related to traffic safety and injury prevention in an equitable way. Thus far, we have published more than 35 peer-reviewed studies in this line of research and look forward to publishing many more in the future.

Supporting Our Vision

We would like to thank the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association, and the National Safety Council for providing technical support to plan and design the data dashboard, and HTS for its ongoing support and guidance to establish and grow the NJ-SHO Data Warehouse.

We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to help NJ advance health and safety across the state. When our public-facing website is launched, it is our hope that others across the nation can use its dashboard and resources as a model for data communication and the use of data-driven approaches to reduce the burden of injuries and deaths in their jurisdictions.

Look for a blog post next week from my colleague, Dr. Kristi Metzger, about our plan to establish the NJ-SHO Center for Integrated Data and its centerpiece, the online data dashboard.