Saving lives and preventing serious injuries on all public roads is an important cornerstone of the Department of Transportation's mission. The FHWA Office of Safety understands that the face of safety analysis is changing, and the need for high quality safety data has never been more apparent. The foundation for effective highway safety decisions is great data. Much of the effort in the past decades has concentrated on crash data; however, crash data are only part of the picture. Roadway and traffic data are also essential. By incorporating roadway and traffic data into network screening analysis, prioritization, and countermeasure selection, decision makers can better identify safety problems and prescribe solutions to improve safety, and make more efficient and effective use of safety resources.
The Partnership includes a variety of efforts all aimed at improving the collection, analysis, management, and expansion of roadway data for use in safety programs and decision making. Current programs that fall under the Partnership umbrella include Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE), Crash Data Improvement Program (CDIP), Roadway Data Improvement Program (RDIP), Highway Safety Manual (HSM), and most recently, the State Data Capability Assessment.
The State Data Capabilities Assessment is one element of the Roadway Safety Data Partnership. The purpose of this project is to assess where each State and the Nation is related to their safety data capabilities. It will assist each State by determining where they currently are and where they would like to be. It will also help FHWA to better focus its efforts to support State activities aimed at reaching their roadway data goals.
The objectives of this project the following:
The first step is to create a consistent, repeatable, and systematic process for assessing the data capabilities of the States. Using a Capability Maturity Model (CMM) process, a State will have an objective review of their current capabilities with an action plan framework for what steps they can take to move forward to the next level of capability. The CMM is a means for identifying phases of growth and development from a combined qualitative and quantitative perspective. It is important to know how many roadway elements are being collected and how frequently they are collected, as well as achieving a better contextual understanding of the organizational environment and policies that guide data collection, management, and usage.
Each State will be able to see their capability level for data-driven safety decision-making on a spectrum of five levels. They will be able to set a goal for retaining current capability or reaching a higher capability level. This process will allow them to perform a gap analysis between where they are and where they want to be with an action planning template to assist them in planning their course. The combined assessments will provide information necessary for FHWA to identify national gaps where we can provide improved leadership and programming for gap areas.
In the next few months, participants will be contacted to learn more about this new partnership, and assist our contractor in setting up meetings with State safety data experts and decision makers. These meetings will develop the baseline assessment for the State and then following through with developing safety data action plans.
The initial assessment will be conducted via webinar and it is envisioned to be approximately two hours in length. Prior to the webinar, the contractor will review existing resources provided by the state and complete a pre-assessment survey that will be verified by the State at the assessment. Once the findings are documented, a basic action plan template will be delivered to assist the state in furthering their roadway data initiatives.
Other RSDP Initiatives
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Offices
USDOT Highway Safety Partner Agencies
Other Related Programs/Organizations