A STUDY ON THE RECENT RISE IN ROAD FATALITIES
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) serves the nation by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets vital national interests. Between 2014 and 2015, traffic-related fatalities rose across the US by seven percent. The USDOT engaged the Capstone team with investigating potential causes of this spike in fatalities. Through an extensive literature review, expert interviews, data analysis, and use of the geographic information system mapping, the team identified the relationship between fatal crashes and several key variables. Using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System data in conjunction with analysis of select data variables, the team assessed which variables were likely to be directly associated with the recent increase. The team concluded that many variables, ranging from climate change to economic growth, influence the occurrence of traffic-related accidents resulting in deaths. The team's research and analysis culminated in a set of recommendations for the USDOT aimed at improving roadway safety throughout the United States.