Background: In 1998, AASHTO approved the Strategic Highway Safety Plan that was developed by the AASHTO Standing Committee for Highway Traffic Safety with the assistance of the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation Safety Management. The plan includes strategies in 22 key emphasis areas that affect highway safety. The goal is to reduce the annual number of highway deaths by at least 5,000 by 2004. Each of the 22 emphasis areas includes strategies and an outline of what is needed to implement each strategy. To reduce the number of fatalities, agencies must continue the effective measures that they are using and implement new strategies. This research will develop guidance to assist state and local highway agencies with implementing strategies to reduce fatalities by 10 to 15 percent each in a number of emphasis areas.
Objective: The objective of this research is to develop and validate guidance documents to assist state and local agencies with reducing fatalities in targeted areas. This project will focus on the following areas: Phase I - aggressive driving, head-on and run-off-the-road crashes on two-lane roads, drivers with suspended and revoked licenses, hazardous trees, and unsignalized intersections; Phase II - signalized intersections, older drivers, unbelted drivers and occupants, pedestrians, horizontal curves, utility poles, and heavy trucks; Phase III - distracted/fatigued drivers, work zone crashes, motorcycle crashes, rural emergency management services, and alcohol related crashes; Phase IV - head-on crashes on freeways, crashes involving bicyclists, crashes involving younger drivers, speed, and safety data and analysis.
Tasks: Accomplishment of the project objective will require the following tasks: (1) Identify promising strategies in each of the targeted areas by considering the literature and consulting with experts in the field, including practitioners who have developed successful programs. FHWA, NHTSA, and the NCHRP panel can provide assistance to the contractor in identifying practitioners. Summarize the information obtained in a suitable format for use in Task 2. (2) For each targeted area, meet with practitioners from two or three states that have developed successful programs and meet with other experts to determine the most effective strategies and key performance measures. Identify common obstacles and ways to overcome those obstacles. Prepare a summary report of findings and recommendations for each targeted area. (3) Develop a draft of a user-friendly guidance document for each targeted area. The guidance should provide sufficient detail for the user to make rational determinations of (a) the number and selection of cost-effective improvements needed to achieve the fatality reduction, (b) the systematic process to use in selecting solutions and sites, (c) lessons learned from previous implementation, (d) specific actions to remove barriers to implementation, (e) step-by-step recommended tasks, (f) estimation of human and financial resources needed to implement, and (g) suggested performance measures. (4) In each targeted area, assist three to five states in using and adapting the guidance document. The contractor should meet with representatives of each state to explain the guidance and to provide technical support for a period of 6 months thereafter. Collect process-evaluation information for use in refining the guidance document in Task 5. (5) Refine the implementation guidance documents developed in Task 3. The document, for each targeted area, should be a stand-alone document and should be delivered in camera-ready and electronic format. Specify the support needed to implement the guidance documents effectively. (6) Submit the final report documenting the entire research effort. The final report will describe how the project was conducted and incorporate the documents developed in Task 5.
Status: The final guide on reducing speed related crashes was published in March 2009. The project has been completed.
Product Availability: The guides are being collectively published as NCHRP Report 500: