Traditional approaches to safety have focused on identifying high crash locations and constructing projects to address predominant concerns at these locations. The systemic approach to safety is a method of safety management that typically involves lower unit cost safety improvements that are widely implemented based on high-risk factors. There is considerable interest from practitioners for quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis. However, there is limited knowledge about the methods and tools available to agencies seeking to implement quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis to make data-driven decisions.
The systemic approach was not included in the first edition of the Highway Safety Manual (HSM). Therefore, to be consistent with methods that are capable of adequately considering safety performance and risk factors (e.g., crash frequency and exposure), there is a need for guidance and recommendations to integrate quantitative systemic safety analysis methods and tools into existing safety management processes.
The objectives of this research are to develop a guide and training materials to assist state DOTs, MPOs, local agencies, and other safety practitioners to better understand, use, and implement quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis. The research results may be incorporated in a future edition of the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual.