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The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 23-09 [Final (Synthesis)]

Severity Indices of Roadside Features
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data

This synthesis will be of interest to highway administrators, safety officials, design engineers, traffic engineers, and analysts who are concerned with improving highway safety. Severity indices, which serve as indicators of the expected injury consequences of a crash, are an integral part of the analysis of proposed roadside safety improvements. Severity indices that have been developed by many states and research agencies are described, as are the issues associated with developing the values, and applying and evaluating the indices. The history of severity indices, the issues associated with estimating accident severity and associated costs, and the range of indices that have been developed are described. This publication of the Transportation Research Board also discusses the relationship of accident severity indices with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Roadside Design Guide and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) ROADSIDE computer program. While research since the 1960s has sought to quantify severity indices for a range of object types and impact conditions, there remains a wide variation in the values from which analysts may choose when performing cost effectiveness evaluations.  The report for this topic can be purchased at http://www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=3355

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