About Us

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Mission of the Office of Safety

Together with our customers, stakeholders, partners, and other Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies, the Office of Safety works to reduce the number of crashes on U.S. roadways and the severity of crash impacts.

Within the broad highway safety mission, the Office of Safety's mission is to reduce highway fatalities by making our roads safer through a data-driven, systematic approach to putting safety first when applying engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services. Focus areas include: Comprehensive Strategic Planning, Roadway Departure, Intersections, and Pedestrians Safety.

Our safety awareness and education programs focus on teaching users how to gain maximum benefit from the safety features of their roadway infrastructure. We work with highway safety advocacy groups, State and local highway agencies, and other partners and stakeholders to identify safety needs, and to deliver highway user safety awareness and education programs that will make a difference.

In 2010, 32,885 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States. Improving roadway safety and mobility is a top priority at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

As the lead safety champions within the FHWA, we advocate the integration of safety into the entire life cycle of a roadway—planning, design, engineering, environmental management, construction, and operations and maintenance. We coordinate with other DOT agencies (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA], the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [FMCSA], and the Federal Railroad Administration [FRA]) to develop and implement multi-faceted, intermodal safety programs.

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How is the Office of Safety Organized?

The Office of Safety staff at the FHWA Headquarters in Washington DC is organized into two program area units. All programs and initiatives are linked directly from the Website Homepage or individual program Webpages.

  • Office of Safety Technologies is responsible for highway designs and technologies that improve safety performance. Major program areas and initiatives include Roadway Departure, Roadside Hardware, Retroreflectivity, Roadside Safety, Pavement Safety, Roadway Systems Design, Intersections, Geometric Design, Road Safety Audits, Speed Management, Safe Routes to School, Safety Countermeasure Analysis and Evaluation, Safety Performance Measures and Monitoring, and Data Analysis and Tools. Each Office of Safety Technologies program Webpage features life-saving Technical Assistance / Tools resources to help road agencies improve roadway infrastructure safety.

  • The Office of Safety Programs is responsible for comprehensive Federal and State highway safety programs and activities that improve safety for all road users. Major programs and initiatives include Program and Strategic Planning, the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), Vulnerable Road User Safety as well as coordination with external and internal safety stakeholders and advocates. The Office of Safety Programs staff also provide customer assistance for Local Programs, and support for State Programs, including Policy and Guidelines assistance. The Office of Safety Programs produces a wide range of Tools and Technology and Community Resources for improving roadway user safety.

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New Safety Compass Newsletter – Fall 2014
(Vol 8, Issue 2)

New Pedestrian Forum – Fall 2014

New Manual for Selecting Safety Treatments on High Risk Rural Roads

New Bicycle Safer Journey (Revised 2014)

NEW Saving Lives Together: The Highway Safety and EMS Connection

New Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon Guide

New 2013 National Roadway Safety Award Winners

New Signalized Intersections: An Informational Guide

New Guidance memorandum on the Roadside Design Guide – 4th Edition

Bicycle Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists

Web-based HSIP Courses
Five new web-based courses related to the HSIP are available from the National Highway Institute

Proven Safety Countermeasures

HSM Managers Guide

Integrating Road Safety into NEPA Analysis: A Primer for Safety and Environmental Professionals:
    • Brochure
    • Report

Procedures for Setting Advisory Speeds on Curves

HSM Training Guide

FHWA is introducing the HSM case study series that highlights noteworthy implementation of HSM methodology.

Guidance Memorandum on Fundamental Roadway and Traffic Data Elements to Improve the Highway Safety Improvement Program

Background Report: Guidance for Roadway Safety Data to Support the Highway Safety Improvement Program

Market Analysis of Collecting Fundamental Roadway Data Elements to Support the Highway Safety Improvement Program

MIRE Report, Ver. 1.0

2010 Transparency Reports (5 Percent)

Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan

Safety Edge Toolkit

FHWA Nine Proven Crash Countermeasures – Addressing Critical Safety Concerns

SHSP Implementation Process Model Interactive CD

P2P – Integrating Local Planning Organizations into a State HSIP

Press Releases

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Lowest Traffic Fatalities in Six Decades more...

Read more FHWA press releases