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The National Academies

NCHRP 17-77 [Active]

Guide for Quantitative Approaches to Systemic Safety Analysis

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Staff Responsibility: Dianne Schwager
Research Agency: MRI Global
Principal Investigator: Darren Torbic
Effective Date: 8/5/2016
Completion Date: 2/28/2020

BACKGROUND

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.

OBJECTIVES
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.
The final deliverable(s) for this research should:
  • Clearly define quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis and distinguish them from other approaches for identifying safety improvements such as traditional (e.g., “hot spot”) and systematic (i.e., implemented system wide) approaches;
  • Communicate the benefits of quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis for identifying safety improvements;
  • Provide a review of existing methods and tools to conduct quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis, including but not limited to, the FHWA Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool, usRAP Tools, and AASHTOWare Safety Analyst;
  • Provide a review of how other guidebooks, tools, software, resources, and ongoing research may be applicable to quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis;
  • Present the data needs for the various methods and tools to successfully implement quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis;
  • Specify and define appropriate applications (e.g., roadway functional classification, crash type, segments vs. intersections) for the various methods and tools for quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis;
  • Provide a critique and capabilities assessment of each method and tool that agencies could use for quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis;
  • Recommend current best practices and potential revisions that would increase the effectiveness or improve the ease of implementation of the methods and tools for quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis; and
  • Recommend or develop methods that agencies may use to evaluate the results (i.e., safety impacts) of improvements that were implemented using quantitative approaches to systemic safety analysis.
STATUS: The research is completed.  The final deliverables have been approved and are in publication.

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