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FHWA Home / Safety / The Systemic Approach to Safety

Training and Technical Assistance

To help States and local agencies implement the systemic approach to safety, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed training and technical assistance including on-call support, noteworthy practices, and peer-to-peer assistance.


Systemic safety training demonstrates how a combined approach of traditional and systemic analysis can achieve greater reductions in fatalities and serious injuries than either method alone. The training provides hands-on expertise that enables users to quickly implement the program. FHWA offers a four hour, instructor led training, by request. FHWA will also make the training materials available to State DOT and LTAP instructors for delivery. Please contact karen.scurry@dot.gov for additional information.

Systemic Safety Analysis Workshop

The Systemic Approach to Safety involves implementing improvements widely across a network based on the identification of high-risk roadway features correlated with specific severe crash types. The systemic approach provides a comprehensive method for safety planning and implementation that supplements and complements traditional site analysis. It helps agencies broaden their traffic safety efforts and consider risks as well as crash history when identifying locations to make low-cost safety improvements.

Image: Curvey road

The systemic safety analysis workshop is a four-hour instructor-led course that leads practitioners through the systemic safety analysis process presented in the Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool. It provides an overview on the Systemic Approach to Safety analysis process, and a high-level understanding of the Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool (SSPST) and resources needed to apply the tool. The course focuses on the benefits of the systemic approach to safety, as well as the application of the methodology to identify systemic safety improvement projects through interactive exercises and case studies.

By participating in this course, safety program managers and practitioners will:

  • Gain a high level understanding of the systemic approach to safety
  • Understand and apply the 4-step systemic safety planning process
  • Understand the resources required to conduct systemic safety analysis
  • Develop the desire and determination to start or continue systemic safety planning efforts within your agency.

Please contact karen.scurry@dot.gov to host the training or request the training materials.

Technical Assistance

FHWA also offers technical assistance to help agencies use the Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool. This technical assistance includes guidance for:

  • Balancing systemic analysis with the spot-specific approach;
  • Studying and selecting focus crashes;
  • Identifying crash risk factors; and
  • Identifying and prioritizing countermeasures and locations.

Technical assistance is available in person, where over-the-shoulder analysis support is provided during the application of systemic safety analysis by an agency. Technical assistance is also available through on-call telephone support. The technical assistance is available as a stand-alone request following the four-hour hands on workshop where the instructor can guide an agency through the systemic safety analysis process. Other technical assistance is provided through noteworthy practices, peer-to-peer assistance, and webinars.



Webinar: Application of Systemic Safety to a Non-Engineering Issue
Date: January 21, 2016
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: National Center for Rural Road Safety 

The National Center for Rural Road Safety (Safety Center) will be hosting a FREE, 1.5 hour online training event.
This Safety Center sponsored webinar will provide a background on the rural safety problem and how the systemic safety approach is used to help address these problems. Some examples of systemic safety applications will be summarized and non-engineering application discussed. An overview of the High Five Rural Traffic Safety Project administered through the Iowa Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB), a non-engineering application, will be provided. This project uses 10 years of crash data and seat belt compliance data to determine annually which five rural counties will receive additional funding in order to increase enforcement, engineering, and education related to traffic safety in those counties. This webinar will discuss how the project works, its ongoing outcomes, and how to develop a similar program in your area.

For more information about this training, visit http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ebrrpv6m59fae67f&llr=ngyyawuab


The FHWA Office of Safety hosted a Systemic Safety Webinar Series throughout 2015. The purpose of the webinar series was to highlight systemic safety noteworthy practices. Participants heard how State and local agencies have engaged partners, used analysis tools, and applied countermeasures to advance implementation of systemic safety efforts across the nation.

Monday, April 27th 1:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Engaging Partners in the Systemic Safety Process

Learn how agencies are engaging regional and local partners in the systemic safety analysis process.

  • Mark Vizecky with the Minnesota Department of Transportation will share Minnesota’s successes and lessons learned engaging partners in the development of local road safety plans.
  • Michelle May with the Ohio Department of Transportation will share Ohio’s experience engaging the MPOs and LTAPs in systemic activities.
  • Richard Weeks with the Arizona Department of Transportation and Mazen Muradvich with Maricopa County will discuss the county’s involvement in Arizona’s systemic activities.

Click the link below to view a recording of the webinar:

Monday, June 8th 1:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Using the Right Tools for Systemic Safety Analysis

Learn about data analysis tools and approaches agencies are using to conduct systemic safety analysis.

  • Scott Davis of Thurston County, WA will present local applications of systemic safety analysis including the use of the Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool;
  • Scott Jones of the Utah Department of Transportation will present systemic safety analysis techniques including the United States Road Assessment Program (usRAP); and
  • Doug Bish of the Oregon Department of Transportation will present a concept on systemic safety analysis for pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Click the link below to view a recording of the webinar:

Tuesday, September 29th 1:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Selecting the Right Systemic Safety Treatments

Learn about systemic safety treatments implemented by State and local agencies.

  • Adam Weiser of the Delaware Department of Transportation will present examples of treatments, such as rumble strips, being used to address risk factors.
  • Ryan Doyle of Lapeer County, Michigan will present their approach on fixed object removal.
  • Nelda Buckley of the Kansas Department of Transportation will present information on its application of Safety Edge, clear zone initiatives, and pavement treatments.

Click the link below to view a recording of the webinar:

Wednesday, November 18th 1:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Advancing Systemic Safety Implementation Efforts

Learn how agencies are using innovative implementation and evaluation approaches to advance systemic safety efforts.

  • Matthew Enders of the Washington State Department of Transportation will present a County Safety Program being used in the State to implement systemic safety projects.
  • Robert Peterson of the California Department of Transportation will present the agency's approach for applying benefit-cost evaluation procedures to systemic projects.
  • Jason Hershock of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will present an evaluation approach used to track the effectiveness of its systemic safety projects.

Click the link below to view a recording of the webinar:


Identifying and Treating High–Risk Road Features Using the Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool – June 2013

This webinar provides overview information on the systemic safety approach along with information on how New York, Missouri, and Thurston County, Washington have used the process.

An archived recording and presentation slides from this Webinar are now available at http://www.ruralsafety.umn.edu/events/selectiontool/.

Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool – May 2013

This webinar provided an overview of the Systemic Safety Project Selection tool and the potential application to address pedestrian safety issues.

An archived recording and presentation slides from this Webinar are now available at http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/training/webinars_FHWA_052813.cfm.

Peer Exchanges

Peer exchange offers valuable insights and lessons learned through peers who detail their own experience implementing the systemic approach. Peers can address questions and concerns about adopting this approach and provide specific information on how it benefited their agency.

Systemic Safety Implementation Peer Exchange, part of the EDC-3 Data-Driven Safety Analysis Initiative – Nashville, TNSeptember 2015

Systemic Safety Implementation Peer Exchange, part of the EDC-3 Data-Driven Safety Analysis Initiative – Phoenix, AZSeptember 2015

Systemic Safety Implementation Peer Exchange – Columbus, OHNovember 2014

At the peer exchange held in Columbus, OH in November 2014, 38 attendees from Federal, State and local agencies from Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania shared their noteworthy practices and strategies as well as challenges and barriers experienced with the systemic approach to safety. Some of the key takeaways from the meeting included the importance of understanding the difference between systemic and systematic safety, and linking crash data and roadway data to develop systemic safety projects is a challenge. Some of the programs that were of interest to the group included Connecticut's use of a van to collect their own roadway inventory data; Louisiana's incorporation of roadway data into the crash analysis; and Pennsylvania's benefit/cost reports.

Systemic Safety Implementation Peer Exchange – Salt Lake City, UTSeptember 2014

At a Systemic Safety Peer Exchange held in Salt Lake City, UT in September 2014, 36 attendees from the Federal, State, and local level and representing Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington were given opportunities to collect information from their peers to advance the implementation of systemic safety. Attendees identified several key takeaways including a funding exchange program that can be used by States to get safety funds to local agencies and avoid the rigorous requirements associated with federal funds; how to effectively advance systemic safety by involving locals, giving them guidance and training, and identifying funding; and how necessary it is to get elected officials on board with systemic safety.

Coming Soon

No upcoming peer exchanges. Check back regularly for information on upcoming events.

Page last modified on August 22, 2019
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