Few current methods of identifying hazardous locations take into account the perspective of highway users. It is generally accepted by human factor experts that user feedback can provide valuable insight into safety at highway locations that is not obtainable through the use of crash data. However, little research has been conducted in the highway transportation area, and the relationship between user perception and actual safety at a location is not well known. Currently, motorist feedback in Indiana is gathered by individual highway agencies through the use of a phone and mail collection process. A centralized feedback collection would not only make the feedback more readily available to the agencies that could use it, but also more convenient to the user by eliminating the need to determine which agency to contact. In addition, the new collection system needs to be available to the user at all times in order to maximize convenience, something not currently possible through the phone system of collection. This study addresses this need by investigating an Internet-based prototype tool for collecting motorist feedback. The tool is designed with both the agency goals of efficiently gathering motorist feedback and user-friendliness and convenience in mind. The tool features a database for sorting and collection of responses in a centralized location, making it possible for all relevant agencies to access the information through remote access. The prototype tool was tested in Tippecanoe County over a trial period of five months in 2001. During this time period, motorist feedback about locations within the county was gathered. It was found that the prototype Internet tool was wellreceived by the public. The safety information gained from the responses to the survey was evaluated by comparing to the crash frequency at the location. From this evaluation, it was found that motorist feedback is a very effective supplement to crash data and can guide highway agencies in the examination and identification of hazardous highway locations.

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Internet-based survey, identification of hazardous locations, highway safety, information technology, motorist feedback, safety investigation, SPR-2483

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Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

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