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Improving Safety on Rural Local and Tribal Roads – Site Safety Analysis – User Guide #1

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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
Site Safety Analysis – User Guide #1

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

This User Guide presents an example of how rural local and Tribal practitioners can study conditions at a preselected site. It demonstrates the step-by-step safety analysis process presented in Improving Safety on Rural Local and Tribal Roads – Safety Toolkit (Publication FHWA-SA-14-072).

The FHWA created the Toolkit and two User Guides to assist local agency and Tribal practitioners in completing traffic safety analyses. Each Toolkit step contains a set of tools, examples, and links to resources appropriate to the needs of safety practitioners. The User Guides accompanying the Toolkit provide hypothetical yet typical local or Tribal agency safety analysis scenarios and step-by-step solutions to the scenarios using materials from the Toolkit.

This report specifically addresses how to study crash conditions at a curve on a rural roadway. The User Guide provides example applications of five Toolkit steps: compile data; diagnose site conditions and identify countermeasures; prioritize countermeasures for implementation; implement countermeasures; and evaluate effectiveness of implemented countermeasures.

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

1.0 Introduction

What are the User Guides?

2.0 User Guide #1 Scenario

3.0 Solution

Step 1. Compile Data

Step 4. Diagnose Site Crash Conditions and Identify Countermeasures

Step 5. Prioritize Countermeasures for Implementation

Step 6. Implement the Countermeasures

Step 7. Evaluate Effectiveness of Implemented Countermeasures

4.0 Options for Additional Activities

5.0 Conclusions

List of Tables

Table 1. Quantitative Information for Studying Safety at a Site

Table 2. Summary of Crash Data by Year

Table 3. Summary of Crash Data by Crash Type

Table 4. Summary of Site Inspection Prompt List

Table 5. CMFs of Potential Treatments

Table 6. Qualitative Comparison of Potential Treatments

Table 7. MUTCD Chevron Sign Spacing Based on Advisory Speed and Curve Radius

Table 8. Example of Comparison of Before-and-After Period Crash Data

List of Figures

Figure 1. Toolkit Safety Analysis Process

Figure 2. Scenario Preselected Site

Figure 3. Example Crash Form from Michigan (UD 10 Form)

Figure 4. Example Key for Crash Form from Michigan (UD 10 Form)

Figure 5. Example Site Conditions Map

Figure 6. Incapacitating Injury Crashes

Figure 7. CMF Clearinghouse Countermeasure Example Install Chevrons

Figure 8. Potential Treatment Enhanced Signage

Figure 9. Potential Treatment Install Edgeline Rumble Strips

Figure 10. MUTCD Excerpt on Chevron Sign Spacing

Figure 11. Curve Radius Calculation

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Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
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