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The National Academies

NCHRP 17-113 [Anticipated]

Incorporating Safe System Approach into the NCHRP 500 Series

  Project Data
Source: AASHTO Committee on Safety
Funds: $700,000
Staff Responsibility: Richard A. Retting
Fiscal Year: 2023

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.

NCHRP Report 500: Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan identifies proven, tried, and experimental safety strategies for each of the emphasis areas in AASHTO’s original 1998 Strategic Highway Safety Plan. FHWA and the state departments of transportation (DOTs) partnered through a pooled fund study to develop reliable estimates of the effectiveness of the safety improvements identified as strategies in the NCHRP Report 500 guidebooks. While information presented in the NCHRP 500 series guides is still useful and referenced in many national reports, a lot has changed over the last 20 plus years. In 2010, AASHTO published the Highway Safety Manual. In 2014, AASHTO adopted Toward Zero Deaths: A National Strategy on Highway Safety and in 2018 the National Safety Council published a Road to Zero: A Vision to Achieve Zero Deaths by 2050.

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and has the potential to change traffic safety. Many agencies are beginning to implement a Safe System Approach. There is an opportunity to update these guides and provide guidance to agencies on safety strategies and countermeasures of the future.

The objective of this research is to update the guides to align with AASHTO’s current priorities and Safe System principles, as well as reflect on the most recent research and identify new innovations to help achieve the goal of zero deaths on the nation’s roads. Tasks may include:

1. Gather input on priority crash types and desired toolkit content and capabilities. Priority crash types may address Safe System and consider rural priority crash types.
2. Conduct literature review to identify new and innovative countermeasures, current research on safety effectiveness, and other relevant information.
3. Provide information for each countermeasure, including considerations on implementing the strategy.
4. Propose how the toolkit will coordinate with other tools (e.g., CMF Clearinghouse).
5. Identify options for long-term maintenance of the toolkit.
6. Develop recommended content of priority crash types.
7. Develop, test, and update the toolkit.
8. Develop materials to promote and demonstrate use of the toolkit.

The research will help analysts consider a broader list of countermeasures applicable to the majority of crash types; improve the efficiency of countermeasure selection; link to state analysis tools; enhance usability of the NCHRP 500 guidebooks; provide access to the most current information; advance implementation of the Safe System approach; and increase awareness of a valuable tool for implementing safety projects.

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