Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Using Health Behavior Theory and Relative Risk Information to Increase and Inform Use of Alternative Transportation


COVID-19 has led to a reduction in vehicle miles traveled by motorized vehicles. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there may a shift to non-motorized modes. Getting more of the Virginia Tech community (including student, faculty, and staff) to walk, use the bus, carpool or ride bicycles for alternative transportation to decrease dependency on vehicle use and traffic around the VT campus and increase overall safety is a goal of the VT Alternative Transportation Department. With COVID-19 impacting carpools and the bus system due to limited capacity and possible fear of public transportation, and fear of injury related to alternative transportation methods, the rate of Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOV) usage to and around the VT campus may increase. This project develops an intervention and education program to encourage alternative transportation to, from, and around campus to reduce traffic on campus while still respecting COVID-19 precautionary measures. In addition, since there is currently no standardized approach for computing the injury rates for non-vehicle roadway users, this project will collaborate with another project that will also refine and assess a methodology for estimating injury rates for pedestrians and bicyclists which will be used to inform the developed intervention. This information will also aid in the development of an educational alternative transportation safety course.

Project Highlights

  • Coming Soon

Final Report

Coming Soon

EWD & T2 Products

Glenn, L. and Quint, N. (2023, February 22). How To Conduct Research Using Theory to Increase Use of Biking, Walking, Skateboarding etc. around Virginia Tech and Blacksburg. Hokie for a Day, Blacksburg, VA. Presentation available here.


Sinha, N., Edwards, S., Villani, D., Shipp, E., and Jiles, K. (2023, August 9). Using Health Behavior Theory and Relative Risk Information to Increase and Inform Use of Alternative Transportation. Webinar SafeD Virtual Webinar is available here. PDF of PowerPoint slides from Webinar available here.

Final Dataset

The final datasets for this project is located in the Safe-D Collection on the VTTI Dataverse; DOI: 10.15787/VTT1/DCR1YU.

Research Investigators (PI*)

Laurel Glenn (VT/VTTI)*
Eva Shipp (TTI/TAMU)*
Kathy Hosig (VT/VTTI)
Kristina Jiles
Amber Trueblood (TTI/TAMU)
Marcie Perez (TTI/TAMU)
Michael Martin (TTI/TAMU)
Lingtao Wu (TTI/TAMU)
Nick Quint (VT/VTTI)
Nishita Sinha (Student-TTI/TAMU)
Caitlin Woodson (Student-VT)
Samanta Edwards (Student-VT)
Domenique Villani (Student-VT)

Project Information

Start Date: 2020-10-01
End Date: 2023-07-15
Status: Active
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $493,774
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: 05-008

Safe-D Theme Areas

Big Data Analytics

Transportation as a Service

Safe-D Application Areas

Risk Assessment
Performance Measures
Planning for Safety

More Information

UTC Project Information Form

Sponsor Organization

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
University Transportation Centers Program
Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590 United States

Performing Organization

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

Texas A&M University
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
3135 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-3135