Safety Focused Decision Making Guide Training

Downloadable Version
PDF [2.49 MB]

Webinar Presentation

September 2013

Publication Number: FHWA-SA-13-035

FHWA Office of Safety logo: Safe Roads for a Safer Future – Investment in roadway safety saves lives.

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Webinar Agenda

  • Introduction
  • Safety Focused Decision Making Framework Overview
  • Safety Focused Decision Making using Safety Planning Tools
  • Review of Safety Focused Decisions Making Framework Phases
  • Questions and Group Discussion

Introduction

This figure describes the contributing research reports and activities of the broader project. First came a synthesis report that reviewed currently available predictive tools. Next there was a case studies report that described how states and MPOs were leveraging available tools in their safety planning efforts. Then came a Peer Exchange, and finally a Gap Analysis report. The culmination of these four activities was the Safety Focused Decision Making Guide.
  • The "Tools, Practices, and Training for System Wide Safety Impact Prediction Project" was commissioned to analyze the use of currently available safety planning tools
  • The end product,the Safety Focused Decision Making Guide, was informed by four related research endeavors concerned with safety planning tools(depicted to the right)


Safety Focused Decision Making Framework Overview

The Safety Focused Decision Making Framework is a five-phased approach that accounts for continuous data collection and analysis, as well as project/program modification. The first phase is to identify potential projects and programs. The second phase is the narrow and select a mix of projects and programs. The third phase is to predict safety outcomes of the projects and programs. The fourth phase is to implement the projects and programs. The fifth phase is to achieve state and local safety targets.


Safety Focused Decision Making using Safety Planning Tools

This figure shows a table with three columns and five rows relating five safety planning tools to those phases in the Safety Focused Decision Making Framework that the tool is most directly applicable. The Crash Modification Factors (CMF) Clearinghouse is a 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. It is most useful in phases 2, 3, and 5. 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. GIS tools are most useful in phases 1, 2, and 5, and are somewhat useful in phases 3 and 4. 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. It is useful in phases 1 through 4, and somewhat useful in phase 5. 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. It is most useful in phases 1, 2, and 5, and somewhat useful in phase 3. FHWA's Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool involves widely implemented improvements based on high-risk roadway features correlated with specific severe crash types. 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. This tool is most useful in phases 1, 2, 3 and 5.
  • A number of nationally available safety analysis tools currently exist to support roadway safety performance planning and decision making
  • The representative list of tools in the table have been directly supported by FHWA

 


Identify Potential Projects and Programs

Identifying the right projects and programs to undertake at the appropriate times is a necessary component to improving transportation safety

 
This figure shows a high-level process flow for the Washington State's Department of Transportation (WSDOT) safety planning and programming steps. It is intended to illustrate an example of a formalized planning process. It depicts the interactions between engineering analysis, planning involvement, programming actions, and work product outputs. In support of their Target Zero –SHSP objectives, WSDOT completes a series of screening, analysis, and evaluation activities followed by an examination of alternatives before beginning to scope and prioritize their projects.

Applying Safety Planning Tools

GIS data can be used by states and MPOs by leveraging the geo-code information in the identification of hot-spot locations where safety improvement projects could have a large/immediate impact

Notable Practice Case Study

Data-driven decision making and continuous review of performance is deeply ingrained in Washington State's Department of Transportation


Red – Engineering Analysis

Green – Planning Involvement

Orange – Programming Actions

Blue – Work Product



Narrow and Select Mix of Projects and Program

Using a formal prioritization process to select the projects/programs most important to complete in the short and longer term is the basis of an effective planning environment

This figure depicts ARC's PLAN 2040 Project Evaluation Tiers. It helps categorize projects into one of four Tiers based upon a weighted performance measure score and a benefit-cost score. Projects in Tier 1 scored above the median in both benefit-cost and performance evaluation while projects in Tier 4 scored below the median in both fields and are considered the least qualified projects. Projects in Tier 2 scored mixed results - scoring above the median in benefit-cost and below in performance evaluation.Projects in Tier 3 scored mixed results - scoring below the median in benefit-cost and above in performance evaluation.

Applying Safety Planning Tools

Systemic Approach provides a comprehensive method for safety planning and implementation that supplements and compliments traditional site analysis

Notable Practice Case Study

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has developed an approach to evaluating potential projects and places projects into one of four tiers to allow for comparison


http://www.atlantaregional.com/plan2040


Predict Safety Outcomes of Projects & Programs

FHWA encourages states and MPOs to take a holistic approach to safety planning and begin using available tools to predict outcomes at the programmatic level

This figure depicts the MoDOT's 100th year anniversary logo superimposed on the top of a screen shot of the cover of their 2012-2016 Blueprint to SAVE MORE LIVES publication, which is the state's SHSP.

Applying Safety Planning Tools

CMF Clearinghouse provides transportation professional with a web-based respository of CMFs and associated document/training materials to support the proper application of CMFs and accurately predict outcomes

Notable Practice Case Study

Missouri's SHSP identifies strategies in the areas of education, enforcement, engineering, and public policy that were selected based on documented evidence supporting their effectiveness


http://savemolives.com/documents/Blueprint-2012-2016.pdf


Implement Projects and Programs

It is necessary to develop a detailed implementation plan that explicitly defines timelines, budget, performance measures, and roles/responsibilities to achieve desired outcomes

This figure is a screen shot of the cover of FHWA's publication, 'A Primer on Safety Performance Measures for the Transportation Planning Process.'

Applying Safety Planning Tools

CMF Clearinghouse provides transportation professionals with a web-based respository of CMFs and associated document/training materials to support the proper application of CMFs and accurately predict outcome

Notable Practice Case Study

Missouri's SHSP identified strategies in the area of education, enforcement, engineering, and public policy that were selected based on documented evidence supporting their effectiveness



Achieve State and Local Safety Targets

Once projects/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

This figure is an illustrative example of an effective performance management dashboard. It is formatted as a table that depicts how various performance measures can aligned to project/program goals, tracked, measured against targets, and reported on. Each measure is given a status that indicates if the measure is on or exceeding annual target, is within 5% of meeting annual target, or is not meeting annual target. It also shows trends over time for the performance of each metric.

Applying Safety Planning Tools

SafetyAnalyst has a Countermeasure Evaluation Tool, which provides an analysis of implementation success, performing before/after evaluations using the Empirical Bayes (EB approach)

Notable Practice Case Study

NCDOT's Executive Dashboard is used to track progress against strategic goals and enables NCDOT's leaders to see trends over time, allowing them to make data-driven decisions based on performance

 
 

https://apps.dot.state.nc.us/dot/dashboard/default.aspx


Continuous Program Improvement Cycle

Data-driven decision making within a performance management framework is something that has become increasingly important in today's transportation environment

Cultivating a Safer Environment

The two keys to achieving the desired future state of transportation safety planning lay within the establishment and acceptance of performance management frameworks across state DOTs and MPOs, and the identification and collection of robust data sets that are used as inputs to the various safety planning tools

Actions Necessary for Improvement

By emphasizing a performance management framework as a method to guide decision making, state DOTs and MPOs can measure and refine their actions en route to accomplishing their strategic goals and objectives rather than waiting until after programs have already ran their course



Questions and Group Discussion

This figure depicts a silhouette of a person sitting on  block scratching their head and thinking with a question mark above their head.

Discussion Prompts:

  • What safety planning tools, practices, and training work well for
  • How have you overcome challenges related to either the application of available tools or established safety planning processes?
  • How are best practices shared with your peers?

Program Contact

Jeffrey Shaw

708-283-3524

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