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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) envisions a safety planning decision making environment where transportation organizations take a holistic programmatic approach and optimize the selection of roadway safety infrastructure improvements across a roadway system using performance management practices to track progress and achieve safety performance targets.
Measuring the impact of specific roadway safety countermeasures has historically been a challenge.
The Framework is defined by five high-level activities with continuous feedback loops for data collection and analysis and project modifications to enhance safety impacts. FHWA is dedicated to promoting a performance-based management approach, as described in the Safety Focused Decision Making Framework above. A number of nationally available safety analysis tools exist to support roadway safety performance planning. The table below presents a listing of the tools used most frequently by states and MPOs as part of their safety planning process(es).
This web-based repository that provides information on all documented CMFs and Crash Reduction Factors (CRFs) in a central location to help transportation professionals properly estimate the crash reduction of selected countermeasures when applied to projects.
Geographic Information System (GIS) Tools software links safety event data such as crashes and geographic data such as roads and roadway features to allow for advanced spatial analysis and mapping.
The Highway Safety Manual (HSM) provides a framework for safety that aids practitioners in performing data analysis, selecting countermeasures, prioritizing projects, comparing alternatives, and quantifying and predicting the safety performance of roadway elements during the planning, design, construction, and operation phases of project development.
SafetyAnalyst is a set of computerized analytical tools to identify safety improvement needs and supports use of cost-effectiveness analysis to develop a system-wide program of site-specific improvement projects. The Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool involves widely implemented improvements based on high-risk roadway features correlated with specific severe crash types. Identifying the right projects and programs at the appropriate times is a necessary component to improving transportation safety.
Four of the commonly used tools can be applied to this step in the process, including GIS, HSM, SafetyAnalyst, and the Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool. States and MPOs typically have a longer list of desired projects and strategies than money available to complete each of them.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) evaluates potential projects and places projects into one of four tiers to allow for comparison.
Projects that pass the first stage of evaluation are then evaluated and scored based on performance measures and expected benefit-cost analysis. In line with this step, FHWA has recently released a new Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool. Safety professionals have traditionally relied on a tool, or set of tools, supported by crash data to help predict the impact of a particular safety improvement project or strategy. FHWA encourages states and MPOs to take a holistic approach to safety planning and to begin predicting outcomes at the programmatic level. CMFs and safety performance functions (SPF) are used to estimate safety gains based on crash type, crash severity, and roadway type. The CMF Clearinghouse does, however, have it's limitations with regards to its predictive capability of a cadre of CMFs.
There are several steps that need to be completed during the project implementation phase of the safety improvement process. Effective implementation plans always includes discrete performance measures by which the overall impact of a project or program can be gauged.
The Highway Safety Manual (HSM) provides a framework for safety that aids practitioners in selecting countermeasures, prioritizing projects, comparing alternatives, and quantifying and predicting the safety performance of roadway elements during the planning, design, construction, and operation phases. As DOTs and MPOs incorporate the HSM in their project selection process, many are beginning to calculate state specific SPFs. Ideally, each program and its supporting activities, has a set of performance targets and desired outcomes established as part of the earlier planning process. Dashboards are used to inform internal or external stakeholders about progress to date and support accountability. Ohio's Department of Transportation (ODOT) is perhaps the most advanced of all states in its use of SafetyAnalyst. We extend our thanks to the following businesses and foundations for supporting us through grants. We received a Wal-Mart Facilities grant from Sam’s Club located in Spartanburg for $500.
This challenge is exponentially increased when attempting to measure the impact of a suite of countermeasures in a region or corridor. States and MPOs begin by identifying a list of potential projects, programs or strategies that will serve as the foundation of the larger safety program.
This Framework helps translate measureable goals and objectives into highway safety investment strategies, priorities, and actions at the programmatic level. In the context of this guide, tools include technical assistance materials, computer-based spreadsheets and models, or geographic information systems.

The table also provides a synopsis of each tool's primary purpose and denotes where, within the Safety Focused Decision Making Framework, each tools is most useful. It helps agencies broaden their traffic safety efforts and consider risk as well as crash history when identifying where to make low-cost safety improvements. A common challenge is leveraging the available data to formulate a mix of projects that lead to an effective safety program.
Data-driven decision making and continuous review of performance is deeply ingrained in Washington State's Department of Transportation (WSDOT). While each of these tools approaches this step in a unique way, they all work to provide safety professionals the ability to identify potential projects and programs using a formalized, data-driven, repeat-able process.
ARC follows a two-stage process for identifying projects for inclusion in its Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), contained within its long-range plan named PLAN 2040. The challenge for states and MPOs moving forward will be leveraging existing tools, given limited data sets, to begin predicting safety impacts across a suite of projects.
In order to effectively predict outcomes at the programmatic level, individual outcomes for each project within the program must first be defined.
Rather than selecting a project for one location, they are selecting a countermeasure to apply at the programmatic level across larger sections of roadway. It highlights those factors that have considerable supporting research regarding their successful implementation and demonstrated effectiveness (or lack thereof). CMFs are multiplicative factors that can be applied to crash data to predict the expected number of crashes after implementing a specific countermeasure at a specific site.
This would be the case in the instance of attempting to predict the larger programmatic impact of several concurrently implemented countermeasures. Upon project approval, it is necessary determine how implementation will occur, including timelines, budget, performance measures, and roles and responsibilities for accomplishing the stated outcomes. This document provides information about nationally available data sources, and guides users through the process of identifying, validating, refining, and incorporating performance measures into transportation planning. The HSM is interconnected with several other tools discussed in this guide, and can be used to identify which safety features, when implemented, will be the most impactful. For example, North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) partnered with the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center to develop SPFs for different types of roadways in North Carolina.
Once programs are underway, states and MPOs with strong performance management frameworks track progress toward achieving their goals and intended safety outcomes through the use of reporting tools such as performance dashboards.
At a minimum, a dashboard should show performance targets and the current level of performance against that target. To do this effectively, safety professionals rely on some of the analysis tools described in this guide. It applies the Empirical Bayes (EB)1 approach and can be used by highway agencies to improve their programming of site-specific highway safety improvements.
ODOT has incorporated the tool into the state's regular transportation planning processes and uses its Network Screening Tool to analyze high priority locations with the greatest potential for safety improvement. A number of other states are in the early stages of adopting or modifying the tool to suit their needs, including Florida, Missouri, and Washington. This will allow us to keep in close contact with you as we share all that God is doing through Mobile Meals. Expansion of predictive modeling and analysis actively supports the evaluation and updating of Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP) that establish statewide goals, objectives, and key emphasis areas and integrates the four Es – engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency response. Then, they refine that list through prioritization exercises designed to select the activities expected to affect the greatest safety impact using available funds within the given transportation environment. To ensure maximum effectiveness, this Framework relies on consistent monitoring, reporting, evaluation, and improvement to achieve the desired safety performance across the entire roadway system. The majority of these tools have been directly supported by FHWA, whether through research, funding, development, training, dissemination, or other activities. Although these tools serve different purposes, each provides data and information that can be used to enhance safety considerations during the transportation planning process. Their project selection process stems in large part from state policies and governance structure, and supports the organization's emphasis on using data to drive safety program decisions.
The Tool provides a comprehensive method for safety planning and implementation that supplements and compliments traditional site analysis. For this reason, it is a highly effective tool when it comes to predicting safety outcomes of projects and programs.
In fact, the CMF Clearinghouse website explicitly states that there is limited research documenting the combined effects of multiple countermeasures and that, unless the CMFs act independently, multiplying may overestimate the effect of combining them.
Each of the key planning decisions and performance measures should be linked to one or more activities and tracked until the project is complete. The Primer draws from current literature, professional experience, and notable state DOT and MPO practices. Data outputs of the HSM that are developed throughout the safety planning process can be used to establish can be a source of credible safety performance measures.

SPFs were estimated for nine crash types for 16 roadway types using statewide data from North Carolina.
Some states have reported the data requirements, including the data formatting requirements, difficult to comply with, which has limited their use of the tool.
As we continue to provide meals so no senior goes hungry, Bank of America’s investment in our organization will enable us to continue to have a positive impact in our community. A number of nationally available safety analysis tools can be utilized to support roadway safety performance planning.
Following prioritization, the prediction of the safety outcomes helps provide the necessary justification for funding and implementation of the selected mix of projects, programs and behavioral strategies. It also supports the key tenets of MAP-21, described by FHWA Administrator Mendez in the box to the right. Please keep in mind that this table and the following case studies are not designed to promote the use of one tool over another. All program and project selections must be aligned to the Governor's SHSP goal of zero fatalities and serious injury collisions by 2030. ARC's project evaluation and prioritization process is then used to determine the priority of projects in line with available funding. The Highway Safety Manual (HSM) provides a framework on ways that state DOTs and MPOs might use SPFs and CMFs to enhance safety as part of the transportation planning process. Researchers also created Excel files that NCDOT can use to calibrate the SPFs in the future as a means to support implementation of the HSM prediction methodology. The figure above provides an example of the NCDOT's Executive Dashboard used to track progress against strategic goals. The majority of these tools have been directly supported by FHWA, whether through research, funding, development, training, dissemination, or promotion.
Once approved and funded, states and MPOs will then work to implement the selected activities. During the first stage of prioritization, all potential projects are screened for alignment to the regional goals and visions. Higher numbered scores are given to those projects expected to provide the greatest impact on congestion, safety, economic growth, or least impact on sensitive land use areas. Focused on enabling safety professionals to narrow and select projects, guidance includes a step-by-step process for conducting systemic safety planning, analytical techniques for determining a reasonable balance between the implementation of spot safety improvements and systemic safety improvements, and a mechanism for quantifying the benefits of safety improvements implemented through the Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool.
As state DOTs and MPOs incorporate the HSM in their project selection process, many are beginning to calculate state specific SPFs.
During implementation, it is important to collect performance data and evaluate projects and program on an ongoing basis.
In addition to the Primer, use of a logic model can help states and MPOs identify performance measures that relate to strategic objectives and the broader program management scheme. Reporting on key metrics aligned to goals enables leaders to see trends over time, make decisions based on performance, evaluate the impact of various performance drivers, and control the success of their actions. Although these tools serve different purposes, each provides transportation planners and engineers with data and information that can be used to enhance safety considerations during the transportation planning process. Please note that this Framework is one component of parallel, related planning activities, and will have some overlap with the TSP, HSIP, and LRT processes. One difference between Washington State and many other state DOTs is that the Washington State Legislature specifically directs WSDOT to develop methodologies for selecting state roadway investment projects to address deficiencies on the state roadway system. An example of a state that has been able to overcome some of these challenges is Utah with UPlan. After assessing each project's projected performance, ARC monetizes impacts and externalities for each project and conducts benefit-cost calculations. Sharing effective CMFs and SPFs based on similarities between and across states and MPOs will continue to help foster an improved safety culture at the programmatic level. Simple, easy-to-access dashboards create openness between an organization and its constituents.
Based on this directive, WSDOT evaluates the full life cycle costs and benefits of all proposed projects in order to select projects that offer the greatest performance per dollar spent.
Building acceptance of data driven decisions and linking performance to results is often easier to accept when an organization publicizes early success in achieving goals. Projects are evaluated within categories of funding so that potential safety projects are evaluated against other safety projects and capital improvement projects are evaluated against other capital improvement projects.

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