The National Academies

NCHRP 20-123(17) [Anticipated]

Highway Safety Manual Development and  Research Roadmap
[ NCHRP 20-123 (Support for AASHTO Committees and Councils) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $150,000
Staff Responsibility: Richard A. Retting
Fiscal Year: 2022

This project has been tentatively selected and a project statement (request for proposals) is expected to be available on this website. The problem statement below will be the starting point for a panel of experts to develop the project statement.

AASHTO and the TRB Committee on Safety Performance Analysis developed a strate-gic plan for future editions (SPFE, 2012) of the HSM to document the process of identi-fying research needs, substantiating funding, tracking research progress; reviewing technical content, and finalizing an approved edition of the HSM. The SPFE provides overall guidance for the development of a new edition, however, during the process of developing the second addition of the HSM several questions were raised.


As the science of safety progresses, new research questions emerge related to safety and safety analysis methods. How should this be addressed subsequently? A research roadmap is now needed to address the development of the next edition of the HSM in-cluding knowledge gaps, format, and process questions related to the third edition and beyond. Additionally, the HSM community’s preference for what tools and technical content should be included in the HSM and what content should be available in an online format is changing.


The objective of this project are to: (1) gather information on research needs and future directions for the HSM and relevant publications, (2) develop a roadmap and process for the research and development for the next edition of the HSM, (3) propose an ap-proach for development and publication that addresses frequency, format, and timeli-ness, (4) Propose a framework for an implementation program that can be applied to any new edition that would provide a basis for early planning and funding requests for outreach, training, tools, and other implementation needs.

Considerations should include:

           Gaps in knowledge following publication of the second edition of the HSM.

           Timeline for updates and method for publishing new research results in an in-terim format.

           User preference for what content is to be included and the most suitable format.

           Approach for deciding whether to promote and implement new research results prior to inclusion in a subsequent HSM edition.

           Collaboration with members of committees and panels involved with the devel-opment of other publications related to the design and operation of transporta-tion facilities. These publications are transitioning to a performance-based ap-proach. (E.g., A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets • Road-side Design Guide • Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestri-an Facilities • Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities • Transportation Operations Manual (in development by AASHTO) • Guidelines for Geometric Design of Low-Volume Roads • Guide for Geometric Design of Transit Facilities on Highways and Streets • Human Factors Guidelines for Road Systems • Pavement Friction Management Guide.

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