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Evaluations of Low Cost Safety Improvements Pooled Fund Study (ELCSI–PFS)

ELCSI–PFS is conducted under and supported by the Development of Crash Modification Factors (DCMF) program. The ELCSI–PFS, which consists of 41 State department of transportation (DOT) members, provides technical feedback on priority safety improvement evaluations to the DCMF program for low- to high-cost improvements and implements new safety improvements to facilitate evaluations.

The DCMF program provides research products such as new statistical methodologies, identification of focus crash types, and current and future crash modification factors (CMF) research needs to support ELCSI–PFS efforts.

Objective: The goal of this research is to develop reliable estimates of the effectiveness of the safety improvements identified as strategies in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 500 Guidebooks. These estimates are determined by conducting scientifically rigorous before-and-after evaluations at sites in the United States where these strategies are being implemented.

Scope of Work: The scope of the ELCSI–PFS is to conduct a research project of the priority strategies in the NCHRP Report 500 Guides. A target of 20 strategies totaling $4.38 million over five years was originally planned for the ELCSI–PFS in four phases. Currently, this study has outperformed its original goals, and has added nine extra phases for a total of 13 phases. To provide reliable measures for effectiveness of various low-cost safety improvements, this study’s performance period has been extended beyond 2023.

Resources: The data for this study will be gathered from States that either have already implemented the selected strategies or will implement the strategies over the next few years. The greater the number of States implementing the strategies, the faster the rate of “after” data collection, which shortens the total time required for each evaluation.

Methodology: An Empirical Bayes evaluation has been used. Before and after data has been utilized to determine the effectiveness of the selected strategies in reducing the number and severity of crashes. However, this study will partner with the American Statistical Association (ASA) to advance highway safety evaluation research through the Expert Statistical Support Team effort (starting June 2016).

To support the ELCSI–PFS efforts, the FHWA and the DCMF program conduct regular meetings among technical experts in cooperation with ASA to identify new statistical methodologies and improve and advance the current practices used in the development of safety performance functions (SPFs) and CMFs.

"Map of the United States of America. The non-member states are Idaho, New Mexico, Alaska, Indiana, West Virginia, Vermont, New Jersey, and Delaware.""
Figure 1. States Participating in the ELCSI–PFS. (Source: FHWA)

Participating StatesAlabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington State, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Technical Advisory Committee MeetingThe TAC Annual Meeting agenda is to generate information critical to States’ safety efforts. Some of the information includes:

  • Adding to a strong knowledge base by bringing the States’ experiences and perspective to the discussion.
  • Revealing new safety strategies or issues facing our Nation’s roadways that may not be receiving proper attention.
  • Increasing the accuracy of study results by having States contribute data and enhance study sample size.
  • Engaging the States in a discussion of issues and challenges confronting each State, and learning how these issues are managed.
  • Determining priority safety improvements for evaluations through balloting conducted in the meeting.

Study Selections: Currently, the ELCSI–PFS has completed 42 studies, and produced 67 publications. All safety evaluation studies are selected through balloting conducted at the annual TAC meetings. DCMF supports these studies with research on CMFs and SPFs needs, and with applicable, statistical methodologies for highway safety evaluations. 

Results and Applications: The goal of the ELCSI–PFS is to provide a CMF and benefit/cost economic analysis for each of the targeted safety strategies. The CMFs and the economic analyses will be used by State DOTs to plan for the implementation of these safety improvements. The goal is to learn and improve processes to assist in the field implementation of these safety strategies. The degree of success in the evaluation of each strategy will vary depending on the level of State DOT support and the availability and reliability of the collected data.

The ELCSI–PFS studies will be published by FHWA. It will also serve as a resource for the Highway Safety Manual (HSM), and FHWA, CRASH MODIFICATION FACTORS CLEARINGHOUSE (CMF Clearinghouse), and other technical publications.

Dissemination of Results: Please see the Publications links.

For more information contact:
Roya Amjadi, Research Highway Safety Specialist 
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety Research and Development
6300 Georgetown Pike 
McLean, VA 22101
Phone: 202–493–3383
Fax: 202–493–3374