U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content
Facebook iconYouTube iconTwitter iconFlickr iconLinkedInInstagram


FHWA Home / Safety / Local and Rural Road / Training

Improving Safety on Rural Local and Tribal Roads — Safety Toolkit

  Table of Contents Next >

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

Download Version
PDF [13.5 MB]

Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety


August 2014


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names may appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes for continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.
2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient’s Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Improving Safety on Rural Local and Tribal Roads
Safety Toolkit
5. Report Date
August 2014
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Elizabeth Wemple, P.E., Timothy Colling, P.E.
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
555 12th Street, Suite 1600
Oakland, CA 94607

Michigan Technological University
Center for Technology and Training
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety
400 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20590
13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Covered Technical Manual
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Technical Manager: Rosemarie Anderson, Office of Safety Technical working group members: Craig Allred (FHWA Resource Center), Galen Balster (Federal Lands Highway), Dave Brand (Madison County, Ohio), Victoria Brinkly (Western Federal Lands Highway), Steve Castleberry (Nevada County, California), Clayton Chen (FHWA Research, Development, and Technology), Scott Davis (Thurston County, Washington), Kayloe Dawson (Chehalis Tribe), Thomas S. Elliot (FHWA National Highway Institute), Tony Giancola (Roadway Safety Foundation), Daniel Holt (Federal Lands Highway), Hillary Isebrands (FHWA Resource Center), Robin Lewis (City of Bend, Oregon), Nate Miller (Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission), Todd Morrison (Kentucky LTAP), Scott Nodes (Arizona DOT), Jessica Rich (FHWA Tennessee Division), Karen Timpone (FHWA Office of Safety), Dennis Trusty (Northern Plains TTAP)
16. Abstract

Rural roadway safety is an important issue for communities throughout the country and presents a challenge for state, local, and Tribal agencies. The Improving Safety on Rural Local and Tribal Roads – Safety Toolkit was created to help rural local and Tribal roadway safety practitioners address these challenges. The Safety Toolkit provides a step-by-step process to assist local agency and Tribal practitioners in completing traffic safety analyses, identify safety issues, countermeasures to address them, and an implementation process. Each step in the Toolkit contains a set of tools, examples, and links to resources appropriate to the needs of safety practitioners. The report presents a seven-step safety analysis process based on a similar process developed in the Highway Safety Manual. The seven steps are: compile data; conduct network screening; select sites for investigation; diagnose site conditions and identify countermeasures; prioritize countermeasures for implementation; implement countermeasures; and evaluate effectiveness of implemented countermeasures. Accompanying the Safety Toolkit are two User Guides (FHWA-SA-14-073 and FHWA-SA-14-074) which present step-by-step processes of example scenarios.
17. Key Words

Safety analysis, local roads, Tribal roads, safety management, network screening, site diagnosis, countermeasure selection, safety evaluation
18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions
19. Security Classif. (of this report)

20. Security Classif. (of this page)

21. No. of Pages

22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)   Reproduction of completed pages authorized

Table of Contents


Who Should Use The Toolkit?

What Is In The Toolkit?

Why Use The Toolkit?

What Are The User Guides?

How to Use the Toolkit and User Guides


User Guides

Step 1. Compile Data and Resources


Data Examples


Resources For Step 1: Compile Data

Step 2. Conduct Network Screening

Network Screening with Maintenance Staff

Network Screening with Crash Data – Frequency

Network Screening with Crash Data – Crash Mapping

Network Screening with Crash Data – Equivalent Property Damage Only (EPDO)

Network Screening with Crash Data and Traffic Volume Data – Crash Rate

Network Screening Utilizing Software

Network Screening with Systemic Analysis

Resources For Step 2: Conduct Network Screening

Step 3. Select Sites for Investigation

Step 4. Diagnose Site Crash Conditions and Identify Countermeasures

Site Diagnosis – Diagnosis without Crash Data

Site Diagnosis with Crash Data

Identify Countermeasures

Identifying Countermeasures Based on Addressing a Crash Type of Concern

Identifying Countermeasures Based on Location

Identifying Countermeasures Based on Best Practices

Resources For Step 4: Diagnose Site Crash Conditions and Identify Countermeasures

Step 5. Prioritize Countermeasures for Implementation

Prioritizing Countermeasures Using Qualitative Rating

Prioritizing Countermeasures Based on Economic Evaluation

Resources For Step 5: Prioritize Countermeasures For Implementation

Step 6. Implement Countermeasures

Resources For Step 6: Implement Countermeasures

Step 7. Evaluate Effectiveness

Resources For Step 7. Evaluate Effectiveness


List of Tables

Table 1. Example Crash Frequency and Severity Data

Table 2. Example Crash Severity, Frequency, and EPDO Score

Table 3. Crash Rate versus Crash Frequency for Three Intersections

Table 4. Example Summary of Site Selection Process

Table 5. Example Collision Summary

Table 6. Hypothetical Haddon Matrix

Table 7. Hypothetical Application of a “High,” “Medium,” and “Low” Rating

Table 8. Example Using Net Present Value

Table 9. Example Using Benefit/Cost Ratio

Table 10. Example Using Cost-Effectiveness Index

Table 11. Example Simple Before/After Analysis

List of Figures

Figure 1. Safety Analysis Process

Figure 2. Example of Crash Report Form from Michigan

Figure 3. Example from NHTSA FARS On-line Database

Figure 4. Aberdeen Roads Safety Inspection Manual

Figure 5. Example Repair Time Matrix Aberdeen Roads Safety Inspection Manual

Figure 6. Example of Regression to the Mean

Figure 7. Example of “Crash Tree”

Figure 8. State-Level Static Maps Showing Severe and Fatal Crashes

Figure 9. Heat Map of FARS Data for Minnesota Produced by the On-line Mapping Site Safe Road Maps

Figure 10. Fatal Crash Location Pin Map Produced by the FARS Encyclopedia Mapping Function

Figure 11. Crash Frequency Data Plotted in a GIS System for an Example Intersection

Figure 12. Crash Mapping Using the MnMAT On-line Tool

Figure 13. Example of Graphical Representations of Crash Data

Figure 14. Example Collision Diagram

Figure 15. Condition Diagram

Figure 16. Example of CMF Look-up

Figure 17. Example of Comparative Analysis of Before and After Conditions

Return to top

  Table of Contents Next >
Page last modified on October 4, 2013
Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000