Identifying Underreported Crash Data on Native American Reservations: A Case Study of Thurston County, Nebraska
Sydney James (firstname.lastname@example.org), University of Nebraska, LincolnShow Abstract
Laurence Rilett, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Native American Reservations have been consistently found to underreport crash data due to reporting barriers including lack of training, law enforcement understaffing, hardware and software issues, and political concerns. Funding allocated for state and federally sponsored safety programs relies heavily on crash rates to identify areas that require increased funding. Thurston County, Nebraska is located entirely on land designated for Native American Reservations. Crash data from 2000 to 2018 indicates a dramatic decrease in the number of reported crashes and an increase in the number of reported fatal crashes. In order to determine if this is due to an underreporting of total crashes, an analysis was performed comparing Thurston County to three other similar counties in Nebraska. Thurston County reported the largest decrease in total reported crashes and was the only county to report an increase in the number of fatal crashes. Thurston also reported the highest annual average number of fatal crashes compared to the three most similar counties. Although these numbers would suggest that Thurston County is underreporting crash data, more work needs to be done to conclusively determine if the data is incomplete and if so, by how much.
Land Allotment, Transportation Access and Indigenous Maternal Mental Health
December Maxwell, University of Hawai'i, ManoaShow Abstract
Erin Roark, University of Texas, Arlington
American Indian/Native American (AI/NA) mothers experience higher rates of postpartum depression than any other racial or ethnic minority group in the United States. Due to historical forced relocation, decimation of ancestral lands, and an increased risk of poverty, AI/NA mothers have limited access to quality personal or public transportation in order to access perinatal health care. Of the 4.86 million individuals who identify as AI/NA in the United States, more than half (54%) reside in rural areas and are at great risk of social isolation. While research indicates that the ability to connect with family, friends, and cultural supports is critical to maternal mental health, transportation access appears to be a crucial but overlooked factor related to the high prevalence of postpartum depression among AI/NA mothers. This study uses story inquiry, a decolonizing qualitative approach, to understand the impact of transportation on perinatal care and maternal mental health care access for Keetoowah mothers in Tahlequah, Oklahoma (N = 8). This study includes three themes: (1) transportation access and historical trauma; (2) perinatal health care and transportation, and; (3) transportation access and affordability solutions. Findings from this study indicate a need for community-engaged collaborations that bring together Keetoowah mothers, transportation planners, social workers, medical professionals, and others working to create equitable transportation access to ensure that historical trauma and the unique needs of this population are not overlooked when redefining transportation policies and programs.
The Relationship Between Reservation Geography and Jurisdictional Overlaps
Elias Sandoval-Clarimon, Eastern Washington University
Identification of Best Practices within Tribal Transit Programs of Federally Recognized Tribes in the Western United States
Emilie Uemura, Eastern Washington UniversityShow Abstract
Tribal transit programs can play a critical role in tribal communities by providing access to essential services, and by increasing access for those with limited mobility such as the elderly, people with disabilities, and youth. These services are even more important in rural areas where long distances, compounded by road safety conditions, contribute to low accessibility to essential services needed by tribal communities. Previous research has outlined guidance for developing, operating, and sustaining tribal transit programs. Common traits of successful, sustainable tribal transit programs that were identified included planning, local leadership, cooperation, and coordination, trained key staff, and diversified funding (Stoddard III et al., 2012).
In order to assess if these traits have changed over time or if new traits have emerged since the initial research, a series of focus groups and interviews were conducted, which were comprised of tribal transit experts who have worked within the study area of the Small Urban, Rural and Tribal Center on Mobility (SURTCOM) at Eastern Washington University (EWU). The SURTCOM study area consists of 71 federally recognized tribes across nine western States. Using qualitative coding, a review of the information collected from this focus group identified several recurring themes that contribute to the longevity and efficacy of tribal transit programs. These themes can inform tribal transit providers about the best practices for developing effective transit programs to meet their community’s needs and to maintain these programs well into the future.
A Comparison of Traditional and Non-Standard Sources of Accident Reporting and Safety Data in Alaska
Nathan Belz, University of Alaska, FairbanksShow Abstract
Alaska has hundreds of communities that are not "on the highway system." Some of these are small cities and villages, sometimes called "rural hubs." Typically these have an asphalt runway and some local highways. However, in these hubs and all the smaller communities, the road system is limited, and automobiles and small trucks share the few available roads with ATVs and snowmachines. In the winter, the rivers are used by snow machines and often ATVs and sometimes highway vehicles. The hubs generally have Alaska State Troopers or local police while the smaller villages and communities have Village Public Safety Officers (VPSOs) or no formal law enforcement presence. Thus in rural areas both the nature of crashes and their reporting are likely to vary from the standard. Common areas and discrepancies between crash reporting injury/fatality reporting systems were analyzed for select Alaskan communities and villages using standard crash reporting system used by the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) and non-standard data through the Alaska Trauma Registry, police reports, and local newspapers and media where available.
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