The primary purpose of the Safety Data and Analysis (SDA) research focus area, and the program of the same name in the Office of Safety Research and Development, is to provide information and tools to use that information for decisionmakers 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 the 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
Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) — The MIRE includes a listing of roadway and traffic elements critical to highway safety management and proposes standardized definitions and attributes for each. The MIRE provides structure for roadway inventory data that enables State and local transportation agencies to use analysis tools with their own data rather than rely on default values that may not reflect local conditions.
Highway Safety Information System (HSIS) — This HSIS multistate database contains crash, roadway inventory, and traffic volume data for a select group of States. Researchers can request HSIS data for the study of highway safety. HSIS can be used to analyze many safety problems, ranging from basic problem identification, to determining the size and extent of a safety problem, to modeling efforts that to predict future crashes.
Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (IHSDM) — The IHSDM is a suite of software analysis tools for evaluating safety and operational effects of geometric design decisions on highway. The suite allows users to make safety a priority in roadway design. To the best 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.
Development of Crash Modification Factor (DCMF) — The DCMF program helps save lives by identifying new safety strategies that effectively reduce crashes and promote strategies for nationwide installation by providing measures of their safety effectiveness. State departments of transportation (DOTs) and other transportation agencies need to have objective measures of safety effectiveness before investing in new strategies for statewide safety improvements.
Evaluation of Low-Cost Safety Improvements Pooled Fund Study (ELCSI–PFS) — This Transportation Pooled Fund Study supported by 41 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.