CDOT's Employees' Research Paper is Award-Winner

April 2, 2012 - Statewide Transportation Plan - DENVER, COLORADO — Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) employees Jake Kononov and Bryan Allery, together with Canadian researcher Craig Lyon, were recently honored by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies for their work in co-authoring a paper that identifies a potential connection between congestion and the physics of accident occurrence on urban freeways.

Their paper entitled Relating Flow, Speed, and Density to Functional Form of Safety Performance Function (SPF) was judged best among 80 research papers submitted worldwide to the TRB’s Committee on Safety Data Analysis and Evaluation.  Their study showed that a rise in crash rates due to congestion may possibly be explained by “the fact that compression of flow without notable reduction in speed produces following distances so small that it becomes very difficult to compensate for driver error to avoid a crash.”

Kononov and Allery have been involved in developing new highway safety analysis methodology since the late 1990s, and their findings have been utilized to make safety improvements since 1999.  Kononov is the CDOT Research Director; Allery is a Professional Engineer II in the department’s Safety & Traffic Engineering Branch.  Their research paper is available at this link:

CDOT’s multi-faceted program to reduce traffic crashes, especially fatal crashes, along Colorado’s roadways has produced results that are nearly double the national average.  Between 2002 and 2011, fatal accidents on Colorado highways have declined by approximately 40%.  During that same time, when all states were focusing intensively on roadway accident prevention, the national average decline was approximately 20%.

CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt said, “The work being done by Jake Kononov and Bryan Allery is being utilized in a comprehensive program to reduce traffic accidents, and specifically fatal accidents, on Colorado’s roadways.”  He described the decline in fatal accidents on Colorado roadways since 2002 as “great news for Colorado.”