Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Safety research and evaluation

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Research and evaluation allows us to explore new ways to address existing problems and evaluate the effectiveness of our countermeasures, projects, and programs. MnDOT is committed to a safe transportation network and the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths goal. A strong evaluation program helps ensure that Minnesota uses the most effective safety strategies.


Evaluation helps ensure that MnDOT invests in effective and efficient safety countermeasures, projects, and programs. The Office of Traffic, Safety and Technology supports this process in three ways: in house professional evaluations, MnDOT supported professional evaluations, and support and review for developing evaluation projects.

Countermeasure evaluations

Safety countermeasures are engineering strategies applied directly to the roadway or roadway network, such as rumble strips, roundabouts, wider edge lines, and others. These strategies aim to improve road safety by preventing fatal and serious injury crashes, preventing overall crashes, and/or reducing the injury severity of a crash.

Safety project evaluations

Safety projects typically involve more than one partner and have a specific beginning and ending point, such as an engineering strategy combined with an education or traffic enforcement activity.

Safety program evaluations

Safety programs are long term and typically involve more than one partner. There may be a specific starting point but are intended to run for many years. Safety programs typically involve multiple safety strategies and multiple partners united on specific goals.

Transportation Research Synthesis reports

MnDOT Research & Innovation offers Transportation Research Synthesis reports. The TRS is a brief report that synthesizes existing research on a specific topic. The TRS may include surveys or interviews. Below are safety related TRS reports initiated by the Safety Research and Evaluation Team.

Office of Traffic, Safety and Technology initiated studies

To address some research questions, MnDOT contracts with professional consultants. These studies may include an evaluation or help MnDOT identify new and efficient strategies to promote traffic safety.

Research resources

Below are several research resources available to assist you.

  • The Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety offers multiple resources about the Highway Safety Improvement Program, intersection safety, road departure, road safety data and analysis, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, local and rural road safety, and much more.
  • University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies offers access to recent U of M studies, resources, and information about transportation events.
  • Federal Highway Administration’s Crash Modifications Factor Clearinghouse offers information and references to evaluations of specific countermeasures. This site is used to identify the level of safety benefit associated with that safety countermeasure.
  • The Transportation Research Board is a national organization that engages professionals worldwide in a broad range of interdisciplinary, multimodal activities to lay the foundation for innovative transportation solutions.
  • Are you interested in learning about a specific research topic? The MnDOT Library page offers multiple resources including reports, library resources, and assistance with literature searches.

Did you find what you are looking for? If not, feel free to contact our evaluation and research team.