About the research
This project discusses the development of and presents five conceptual Safety Frameworks for evaluating the relationships between roadway or roadside features and crashes involving infrastructure-related distraction (IRD). Studies assessing the safety impact of outside-the-vehicle distraction and specific infrastructure elements were reviewed to identify common measures of and surrogates for distraction. Potentially useful data sources for investigating IRD were then identified and evaluated for their advantages and disadvantages, and the five Safety Frameworks were developed for the identified data sources. Each framework demonstrates the use of a particular data source—crash narratives, geospatial crash data, traffic simulator data, or naturalistic driving study data—to quantify the distraction potential of an infrastructure element. To this end, each framework identifies research questions that can be addressed using the data source, the variables and surrogates for indicating distraction, the analytical methods for quantifying distraction, and the efficacy of the approach, including the feasibility of the data source and methods. The Safety Frameworks are intended as templates to guide agencies in using a particular data source to assess the distraction potential of a specific infrastructure element.