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C H A P T E R 7 Conclusions This final report provides a summary of the key areas of the driving data--on the order of approximately 60 to 80 million plan that has been developed in support of the SHRP 2 NDS miles and approximately 1.5 to 1.7 million hours of driving that focuses on Safety Project S06 (Technical Coordination data originating from six different regions around the con- and Independent Quality Assurance for Field Study) and tinental United States. During the course of the study, it is Safety Project S07 (In-Vehicle Driving Behavior Field Study). expected that detailed information about approximately Preventing or reducing the severity of highway crashes by 1,000 crashes of all severity levels, many of them serious, will understanding driver behavior is important to the nation's be captured. In addition, it is also expected that an order of economic system and quality of life. The SHRP 2 NDS prom- magnitude more near crashes will be detected and recorded. ises to yield high payoffs in the safety arena, both during the life The naturalistic method is the only way to consistently record of the current project and for many years after it is completed, the details of many crashes. It is also the only method that as it facilitates the answering of many of the key research ques- allows identification and detailed examination of near crashes. tions identified in the early phases of the project. By under- Finally, it provides the exposure data by which metrics of standing how risk factors influence safety on our roadways, relative risk can be estimated. innovative countermeasures can be employed to improve our This undertaking is ambitious; however, this S05 project has ability to design and build safer roadways and vehicles, navigate developed a comprehensive study design addressing the data environmental conditions, and teach future driving genera- collection system as well as the project management and qual- tions how to use safer driving practices. The SHRP 2 NDS will ity plans to successfully address the challenges of this impor- contribute to these ends by generating a wealth of naturalistic tant national safety program. 31