photo of a car with headlights shining driving down a road

Session No. 5A

Session Title: Data-Driven Approaches to Transportation Safety

Session Description: This session will focus on various data-driven approaches to quantify and improve transportation safety outcomes. The focus is on situations where data-driven techniques are used to learn more about relationships between safety performance and other factors, as well as how data-driven techniques can be used to improve estimates of safety performance in the future.

Moderator: Vikash V. Gayah, Penn State

Speaker Bios

Scott Himes is a Highway Safety Engineer with VHB in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a graduate of Penn State, having earned his doctorate in civil engineering in 2013. As a researcher, he specializes in data collection, safety evaluations, and implementation of the Highway Safety Manual (HSM). His expertise includes collection and analysis of data related to geometric design, operations, and highway safety. He has implemented a variety of methods to develop high-quality CMFs through projects for NCHRP, FHWA, and State DOTs. He serves as an expert reviewer for FHWA’s CMF Clearinghouse and for the second edition of the HSM. As a trainer, he has provided instruction on implementation of the HSM predictive methods, use of safety analysis tools (including the IHSDM), and applying flexibility and risk management principles in geometric design.

Eric Donnell is the Director of the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute and a Professor of civil engineering, at Penn State. He is chair of the TRB Design Section, and a member of the PennDOT-FHWA Statewide Transportation Innovation Council. Donnell has 20 years of research and teaching experience related to traffic safety, speed management, and highway design; serves as an associate editor and advisory board member on two international journals; and is a past leadership fellow of the Eno Foundation.     

Rajesh Paleti graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a doctoral degree in Civil Engineering in 2012. Prior to joining Penn State, Paleti worked as an Assistant professor at Old Dominion University from 2014 to 2018, and as a transportation consultant at Parsons Brinckerhoff from 2013 to 2014. Paleti’s research is primarily focused on generating novel econometric and statistical models with potential applications in three key areas: (1) Travel Behavior Analysis, (2) Traffic Safety, and (3) Transportation Systems Modeling and Simulation. He worked as a consultant for two years during which he was involved in the development of advanced activity-based travel demand models for Southern California, Jerusalem, Ohio, and Dallas. Paleti received several honors including the 2016 Chan Wui & Yunyin Rising Star Award for Early Career Professionals by Transportation Research Board (TRB), the 2013 Pikarsky Award for outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation in Transportation Science & Technology, and the 2013 Pyke Johnson award for outstanding paper in transportation systems planning.



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Thursday, December 12, 2019

1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Room 208

Note: Select presentations are available in PDF format for download by clicking on the highlighted link for each title. If a link is not shown, the presentation was too large to be uploaded to the website.  



The Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference (TESC) attracts professionals from throughout Pennsylvania, the mid-Atlantic region, and the country. It is an authoritative source of information on pressing issues from some of the foremost experts in transportation today.

Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute

201 Transportation Research Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-1891