The NCHRP Project 20-24(37) project series has been conducted to describe how use of comparative performance measures may help managers of state departments of transportation (DOTs) to improve performance of their own systems and organizations. Work to date has demonstrated that widely acceptable performance measures can be developed and provides a foundation for further collaborative development of comparative performance measures by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and its member agencies.
Building on the success of two earlier initiatives, this project addressed another key concern of transportation officials: safety. Apart from certain crash fatality statistics, variability in the characteristics of data reporting complicates performance comparisons among states. The purpose of such comparisons, in this project and in general, is not to rank states’ performance, but rather to highlight top-performing management strategies and to give DOT managers benchmarks for judging their own performance. Anonymity is maintained for states providing the comparison data with the exception of the top performing states that are highlighted in the reporting of successful practices.
The objective of this project was to use the techniques developed in earlier NCHRP 20-24(37) projects to develop comparative statistics on highway safety, factors likely influencing safety experience of states, and strategies used by states with best safety experience. The research entailed recruiting volunteer states to provide data, compiling and analysing the data provided to compute comparative and summary performance statistics, identifying superior performance among the participating states while maintaining the participants' anonymity, and determining Best Practices that contribute to superior performance results. A detailed Best Practice Analysis was conducted for the top performing statesthat were willing to permit their identities to be revealed.
Status: The research team's final report is available for download here.