Research In Action

Research In Action

Surveying Data Users

In March, we announced the creation of the New Jersey Safety and Health Outcomes (NJ-SHO) Center for Integrated Data, an innovative partnership between CIRP researchers and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS). Over a decade ago, we began integrating data on traffic safety and injury health outcomes in New Jersey to support research on traffic safety. The NJ-SHO Center will showcase these data through a public facing, accessible website and interactive dashboard which we are currently developing.

I am excited to be a part of this team and to share the results of a stakeholder survey we recently conducted. Those surveyed work in a variety of traffic safety roles in NJ, including law enforcement, government, education, healthcare, and advocacy, and their feedback provided us with valuable insight on how to create a dashboard and website that will be the most useful.

Last summer, we received funding from the National Safety Council to gather feedback from potential users of the NJ-SHO Center for Integrated Data dashboard and website. Because the dashboard is designed to be used by a wide audience, we sought input from a variety of stakeholders who have unique needs. We wanted to understand the types of data they currently use and what elements would be the most helpful to include in the data dashboard.

What They Told Us

We surveyed 87 stakeholders. Here’s what they told us about data they need and plans for use:

  • They are most interested in distracted driving, speeding, impaired driving, seat belt use, child restraint system (CRS) use, and law enforcement issues.
  • Most use fatal and non-fatal crash report data in their work.
  • Fewer report using licensing data, hospital discharge records, emergency medical services (EMS) data, or trauma registry data.
  • Most feel that the data they use are relevant in helping them achieve health and safety goals but report having difficulty with the visualizations, dashboards, and websites currently associated with this data.

We then shared a written description of the NJ-SHO Center for Integrated Data and proposed dashboard/website and asked how they may use this innovative resource when launched in the fall of 2024. Plans for use included:

  • To inform public communication and messaging campaigns to improve traffic safety
  • To determine how best to allocate resources to achieve traffic safety goals
  • For internal research
  • To inform or evaluate policy 

Next, we asked stakeholders which data elements they would like to be included on the dashboard and how to display them. Based on their responses, here are some dashboard components we plan to include:

  • Annual estimates of crash rates statewide and by county
  • Demographics of pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists involved in crashes
  • Focused reports on distracted driving, vulnerable road users, impaired drivers, speeding, and transportation equity
  • The option to download a PDF snapshot of selected crash statistics per county
  • The ability to download an Excel file of the aggregate data powering the data dashboard

We are grateful to the NJ stakeholders who took the time to share their thoughts with us. We have more surveys coming within the next few months as we continue to develop the NJ-SHO Center for Integrated Data dashboard and website. With this continued input, we will carefully design and build the dashboard and website to support community-based solutions that reduce injury and death.

If you would like to join our stakeholder list and provide feedback on future iterations of the data dashboard and website, please email us at

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