U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Speed Management Outreach Materials
Factors Influencing Operating Speeds and Safety on Rural and Suburban Roads.
This report documents the component factors affecting speed and safety on rural and suburban roadways that are not limited access. The report also describes the treatments that have the potential to reduce speed-related crashes. Finally, the research looked into the safety effects of lane-width-shoulder-width combinations on rural two-lane, two-way road segments.
Evaluation of Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs on Curves: A National Demonstration Project
This report discusses treatments that can potentially reduce speeds and speeding-related crash risks on rural horizontal curves. This report describes the effectiveness of dynamic signs that alert drivers to changes in roadway conditions and that provide those drivers with recommended speeds to safely negotiate a curve. The effectiveness of these signs were determined based on field analysis in 22 locations.
Speed Management Program Plan
The goal of the Speed Management Program Plan is to improve public health and safety by reducing speeding-related crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities. This Speed Management Program Plan was developed jointly by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and it identifies the Federal effort and specific actions to be taken by the USDOT to effectively address managing speed and reducing speeding-related crash risk.
Speed Management: A Manual for Local Rural Road Owners
This document provides information on how to develop a Speed Management Program that is tailored to meet the needs of local rural road practitioners. A Speed Management Program can be effective in lowering the number of speeding crashes and the resulting fatalities and serious injuries on local rural roads. This document describes the various elements of a Speed Management Program, including the principles of setting speed limits appropriate for roads within the jurisdiction and various countermeasures that are effective in mitigating speeding as it relates to roadway safety in rural areas.
Speed Management Webinars
FHWA conducted two speed management webinars in the Fall of 2012:
USLIMITS2 and Methods and Practices for Setting Speed Limits, September 20, 2012
Reducing Wet Weather Speed-Related Crashes, September 27, 2012
The presentations, transcripts, and recordings for both webinars are available at http://connectdot.connectsolutions.com/sr250uslimits/. Upon accessing the site, select the "Enter as Guest" option, enter your name, and click on Enter Room. Instructions on how to download the files and links to view the recordings are provided.
Analysis of Speeding-Related Crashes
Speeding is one of the most common contributing factors of traffic crashes. Data extracted from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) show that the driver-level attribute "driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted speed limit" is the critical contributing factor in more than 99 percent of all speeding-related fatal crashes, as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A marginal number of drivers were determined to be speeding through citations of speeding violations reported to FARS. To read the entire report, click on this link: Analysis of Speeding Related-Crashes: Definitions & the Effects of Road Environments (DOT-HS-811-090) (PDF).
Guidelines for the Use of Variable Speed Limit Systems in Wet Weather
This report provides guidance on the use of variable speed limit (VSL) systems in wet weather at locations where the operating speed exceeds the design speed and the stopping distance exceeds the available sight distance.
Management Approach to Highway Safety – A Compilation of Good Practices
A guide for developing and implementing a management approach to highway safety.
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is the national standard for signing on all highways. Sections 2B.13-16 address regulatory speed limits and Section 2C addresses advisory speed signs. School zone speed limit signs are discussed in Section 7B.11 and work zone speed limits in Section 6C.
Methods and Practices for Setting Speed Limits: An Informational Report
This informational report describes four primary practices and methodologies that are used in establishing speed limits (engineering approach, expert systems, optimization, and injury minimization). It also reviews the basic legalities of speed limits and presents several case studies for setting speed limits on a variety of roads.
Procedures for Setting Advisory Speeds on Curves
The procedures described in the handbook are intended to improve consistency in advisory speed signing and, hopefully, driver compliance with the advisory speed. The handbook describes; 1) guidelines for determining when an advisory speed is needed; 2) criteria for identifying the appropriate advisory speed; 3) an engineering study method for determining the advisory speed; and 4) guidelines for selecting other curve related traffic control devices.
Speed Concepts: Informational Guide
Traffic speed is an important yet complex topic in the transportation engineering community. Furthermore, speed is of considerable interest to enforcement agencies, safety advocates, property owners, users of the transportation system, and the public at-large because of its perceived effect on crash risk. Each of these stakeholders perceives speed measures differently; therefore, many issues related to speed are either misunderstood or remain unanswered. This guide: 1) defines common speed-related terminology so that the guide’s contents can be clearly conveyed, 2) explains the differences between designated design speed, inferred design speed, operating speed, and posted speed limits, 3) illustrates perceptions and research conclusions related to the effects of speed, 4) documents speed-based technical processes, 5) summarizes State and local government agency roles and actions related to traffic speed, and 6) highlights speed management and mitigation measures. [FHWA-SA-10-001]
Speed Management Digital Library
A collection of resources dealing with speed management. These resources come from a variety of sources and cover many aspects of speed management. [Publication FHWA-SA-14-033]
Speed Management Workshops
A series of pilot workshops were held around the country to provide platforms for researchers, engineers, law enforcement, judiciary, educators and policy makers to address engineering and enforcement issues. Building on the success of these workshops, the U.S. DOT has developed a Speed Management Workshop Guide and training to facilitate 2-day workshops in States and local communities.
State Practices to Reduce Wet Weather Skidding Crashes
This report provides guidance to states for implementing a program focused on reducing wet weather skidding crashes and identifies the four common components of existing state programs.
The Effect of Increased Speed Limits in the Post-NMSL Era, a Report to Congress, 1998. [PDF 407 KB]
Section 347 of the NHS Act required the Secretary of Transportation to study the impact of states' actions to raise speed limits above 55/65 MPH and report to the Congress by September 30, 1997.