The diverse safety community in the United States continues to make substantial, incremental progress in developing and implementing cost-effective approaches to highway safety. AASHTO and FHWA have provided national leadership in developing tools such as Model Minimum Inventory of Roadway Elements, the Digital Highway Measurement System, the Interactive Highway Safety Design Model, and SafetyAnalyst, and upcoming milestone products such as the Highway Safety Manual and Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP 2) safety results (especially the crash causation database that will be created). NHTSA and FMCSA, working with AASHTO, FHWA and other partners, have advanced similar improvements focusing on behavioral and heavy vehicle issues.
While the range of current efforts is impressive, the transportation industry is on the cusp of creating a truly comprehensive analysis and decision-support system with the capability to compare the effectiveness of investment and policy opportunities across the 4 Es (engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services) of safety. There is a need to integrate efforts like those noted above into a comprehensive safety analysis framework. This framework is envisioned as a ‘blue print’ that will encompass the full safety community and provide for objective, data driven evaluations of safety programs, policies, and investments across federal, state, and local levels.
The objectives of this research were to (1) develop a comprehensive analysis framework for safety investment decisions across engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services that are transferable across federal, state, and local governments and (2) evaluate the relative effectiveness of the framework. Phase 2 is to finalize a training module for incorporation in to academia instruction, produce a handbook to support safety benefit cost analysis across countermeasure types, incorporate the various countermeasure rating schemes in to a revised uniform rating scheme, and design a strategy for incorporating the revised scheme in to major safety publications.