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FHWA Home / Safety / HSIP / State Safety Targets

Safety Performance Management (Safety PM)

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State Safety Performance Targets


Performance management is a critical element in roadway safety and is measured by the number of lives lost and serious injuries sustained on our Nation's roadways. The State's safety performance targets will help improve data, foster transparency and accountability, and allow safety progress to be tracked at the national and State level. States use the safety performance management framework to assist them in making progress toward improving road safety through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), which requires a data-driven, strategic approach to improving highway safety through a performance-based approach.

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Safety Performance Management Final Rule requires States to set safety performance targets in the HSIP annual report. The performance measures are based on 5-year rolling averages and include the following:

  • Number of fatalities
  • Rate of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT)
  • Number of serious injuries
  • Rate of serious injuries per 100 million VMT
  • Number of non-motorized fatalities and number of non-motorized serious injuries

There are three common measures (number of fatalities, rate of fatalities and number of serious injuries) that States are required to set identical safety performance targets for as part of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) State Highway Safety Plan (HSP) and FHWA's HSIP annual report. This requirement allows States to align their safety performance targets and work collaboratively to achieve those targets.

State Safety Performance Targets

FHWA shares the vision that zero fatalities on our Nation's roadways is the only acceptable goal. FHWA also recognizes that reaching zero fatalities will require time and significant effort by everyone. The State's annual safety performance targets represent an important step in helping States work toward the ultimate goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries. The safety performance targets are interim performance levels that contribute towards the progress of the long-term goal of zero fatalities.

FHWA does not prescribe a methodology for States to set their annual safety performance targets. States have the flexibility to use the methodology they deem most appropriate. The agency encourages States to review data sets and trends and consider factors that may affect targets. The safety performance targets should be data-driven, realistic, and attainable and should align with the performance management framework and legislative intent.

State Target Achievement Assessment

FHWA will determine whether a State has met or made significant progress toward its safety performance targets at the end of the following calendar year when target-year data is available and report findings to States and the public. FHWA will determine whether a State has met or made significant progress toward their safety performance targets approximately December of each year and the States and the public will be notified by March of each year. A State is considered to have met or made significant progress when at least four out of the five safety performance targets are met or the actual outcome for the safety performance target is better than the baseline performance.

It is important to keep in mind that each State's target achievement assessment is based on its own State-specific target methodology and program philosophy. Therefore, conclusions should not be drawn based only on the safety performance targets and target assessment determination. For example, a State may have set aggressive targets, and not met those targets, while another State may have set more easily attainable targets, and met those targets. FHWA understands that each State's safety program is unique and therefore provides States the flexibility to set safety performance targets they deem most appropriate based on their State safety program.

Directions: Click on a State to view their safety performance targets and target achievement assessment.

Page last modified on July 8, 2020
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