As featured on the front page of February 23rd’s USA Today, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is studying ways to help drivers navigate the safest route to their destination thanks to the United States Road Assessment Program (usRAP). Pilot programs have been conducted in eight states—Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico and Utah—with more states to be added this year. These pilots used crash and other relevant safety data to map the relative risk of roadways in the states. The goal over the next few years is to implement usRAP nationwide and ultimately use data and technology to provide drivers with information for avoiding dangerous corridors at the touch of their GPS navigational screen. By doing this, drivers could access the safest route from place to place in addition to the fastest or least congested.
According to a recent foundation survey of 2,141 drivers, 73% said they would consider this type of information helpful when seeking driving directions in unfamiliar areas, such as traveling out of town for business or on long car trips with the family. usRAP was initiated to more effectively manage road safety and ensure that assessment of risk plays a key role in strategic decisions on road improvements, crash prevention and standards of route management.