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Focused Approach to Safety

Purpose of the Focused Approach

The Focused Approach to Safety provides additional resources to eligible high priority States to address the Nation’s most critical safety challenges through additional program benefits such as people, time, tools and training. Each eligible State participating in the Focused Approach will be assisted in addressing fatality reductions in any one or all of three critical focus areas. These areas have been identified as providing the greatest potential to reduce highway fatalities using infrastructure-oriented improvements, namely: roadway departure, intersection crashes, and pedestrian/bicycle crashes.  These three focus areas encompass almost 90% of the traffic fatalities in the U.S.

Pie Chart: 2015 Fatalities

Data for the Focus Areas

The Focused Approach to Safety is a data-driven process.  In 2014, FHWA updated the data definitions used to determine the number of crashes associated with each of the three critical focus areas.  A memorandum explains the historic and current data definitions and provides a listing of fatalities in each State using the definitions for each focus area.  Additional detail is included in this Technical Brief. For data analysts, the SAS codes are also provided.  This coding was specifically developed for the changes in the Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) that occurred in 2010.

Resources and Tools for the Focused Approach

A guidebook, factsheet, and talking points for outreach are available to assist in implementing the Focused Approach to Safety and providing additional information. These tools are available to focus States and non-focus States to support in reaching targeted safety goals and meeting their Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) fatality reduction goals.

Cover Pages
Links to Focused Approach Resources and Tools:

Fact Sheet - Summarizes the overall program concept and key features for all stakeholders.

Talking Points for Outreach - Provides talking points to assist in the Focused Approach to Safety discussion with stakeholders.

Toolkit - Provides a list of support tools by focus area

Guidebook - Concise resource containing the program purpose, benefits, history, focus State eligibility criteria, steps for success, initial deployment checklist, and highlights.

Activities of the Focused Approach

Eligible focus States participating in the Focused Approach will have access to assistance in several different formats. They can receive technical assistance such as data analysis and action plan development from initiation to implementation; training in several formats, including classroom-based workshops, online webinars, and various training materials; support for a wide range of analysis tools and counter measures. For more information about the specifics of the Focused approach to safety, please refer to the specific resources above.

Eligible Focus States

Map of State Safety Focus Areas

Contacts for the Focused Approach

Page last modified on October 15, 2014.
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