Carley Przystac

Complexities: Traffic Safety Engineering, Psychology, and Environmental Factors

Liberal arts and engineering intersect in a study of traffic safety at the Massachusetts Department of Engineering.  The Traffic Safety section of the Massachusetts Highway Division in the MassDOT Headquarters building seeks to increase the safety of those driving on Massachusetts roadways.  This study requires an extensive understanding of civil engineering and traffic management as well as knowledge of environmental and psychological factors that can impact a person’s decision-making.  Though it is frequently impossible to determine the exact cause of car crashes, it is possible to determine the probable causes. This allows roadways and intersections to be designed to mitigate such effects.  It is here where a liberal arts education is critical to improving the safety of state roadways.