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Summer 2006

Researcher Spotlight: Gary Davis

Gary Davis

Gary Davis

Gary Davis is a civil engineer whose work focuses on making roads safer. But he doesn't design better bridges, or synthesize new paving materials. Instead, Davis is a leader in understanding the causes of road crashes--research that plays a key role in the ITS Institute's vision of technology enhancing safety and mobility.

One of the most significant challenges researchers face in searching for the root causes of common traffic crashes is developing accurate and statistically valid methods of analyzing data from crash reports and records. Davis's work combines rigorous methods of statistical analysis with models of collision scenarios in order to reveal how various factors--such as vehicle speed--affect different kinds of crashes.

In a field where data generally arrives in the form of quantitative measurements, Davis's work takes on human behavior as a necessary component of understanding crash causes. With an academic background that includes a graduate degree in experimental psychology in addition to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering, Davis brings a unique set of skills to ITS Institute research.

Currently, Davis is contributing to several ITS Institute research initiatives, including Intersection Decision Support for rural crash prevention. In that project, Davis has led the statistical modeling of intersection crashes to identify sites for the deployment of novel crash-reduction systems, as well as predicting the possible effects of such systems after installation based on analysis of available traffic records.
Davis is also a member of the research team for the Access to Destinations Study, which examines links between transportation demand, network growth, and land use across the metropolitan Minneapolis-St. Paul region.