Road Safety Audits (RSA)
A Road Safety Audit (RSA) is the formal safety performance examination of an existing or future road or intersection by an independent, multidisciplinary team. It qualitatively estimates and reports on potential road safety issues and identifies opportunities for improvements in safety for all road users. The FHWA works with State and local jurisdictions and Tribal Governments to integrate RSAs into the project development process for new roads and intersections, and also encourages RSAs on existing roads and intersections.
The aim of an RSA is to answer the following questions:
Public agencies with a desire to improve the overall safety performance of roadways under their jurisdiction should be excited about the concept of RSAs. Road safety audits can be used in any phase of project development from planning and preliminary engineering, design and construction. RSAs can also be used on any sized project from minor intersection and roadway retrofits to mega-projects.
Most State DOTs have established traditional safety review processes. However, a road safety audit and a traditional safety review are different processes. It is important to understand the difference between the road safety reviews that are commonly performed and newer road safety audits. The main differences between the two are shown below:
What is the difference between RSA and a Traditional Safety Review?
The site was developed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
"We view the RSAs as a proactive low-cost approach to improve safety. The RSAs helped our engineering team develop a number of solutions incorporating measures that were not originally included in the projects. The very first audit conducted saved SCDOT thousands of dollars by correcting a design problem."
"The road safety audit process looks at the roadway from a purely technical safety viewpoint without outside influences. It is a valuable process that gives an unbiased view of safety issues with support from safety experts. These recommendations are helpful when working with others, such as political leaders."
"I believe that road safety audits are an excellent tool for evaluating and improving the safety of our highway system. In the projects we've done, we've seen the most benefit in doing an audit during conceptual and preliminary design, when any improvements can be incorporated into our project estimates and final design."
Subscribe or Post to the RSA Newsletter!
The Road Safety Audit (RSA) Newsletter is an outreach resource to provide you with the most current information on RSAs. Our regular features include an overview of State RSA programs, current resources to assist you in performing RSAs, and a compilation of RSA-related news stories.
How to Subscribe:
How to Post Information:
If you want to spread the word about an upcoming RSA or share your experiences with RSAs in any State, local areas, or Tribal areas, please send your information for consideration via an email to email@example.com.
RSA Peer-to-Peer Assistance
RSAs For Safety