The primary purpose of the Safety Data and Analysis (SDA) research focus area, and the program of the same name at the Office of Safety Research and Development, is to maximize the benefits realized by safety initiatives at all levels of government. Safety data and analysis research is directed at defining data needs, identifying or developing effective data collection methods and technologies, and developing analytical tools and processes to convert data into good decisions about how best to allocate safety resources. Inherent to the Data and Analysis program is the need for rigorous evaluation of safety treatments, which can only be accomplished with the appropriate data.
The vision behind the SDA program is to equip local, State, and Federal safety programs to systematically combine and analyze crash data and roadway characteristics to uncover trends and identify high-priority safety needs. Only with good data, and the tools to use it, can agencies build, implement, and objectively evaluate performance-based safety plans.
Key Safety Data and Analysis Research Projects
MIRE (Model Inventory of Roadway Elements) — The MIRE includes a listing of roadway and traffic elements critical to highway safety management and proposes standardized coding for each.
HSIS (Highway Safety Information System) — This multistate database contains crash, roadway inventory, and traffic volume data for a select group of States. These data are used for the study of highway safety.
IHSDM (Interactive Highway Safety Design Model) — Make safety a priority in roadway design with this suite of software analysis tools for evaluating safety and operational effects of geometric design decisions on highways. To the extent possible, the Crash Prediction Module (CPM) of the IHSDM faithfully implements part C (Predictive Method) of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official’s (AASHTO's) 1st Edition Highway Safety Manual.
Evaluation of Low-Cost Safety Improvements Pooled Fund Study (ELCSI–PFS) — This Transportation Pooled Fund Study effort supported by 40 States focuses on developing reliable estimates of the effectiveness of safety improvements identified as strategies in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 500 Guides.