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FHWA Highway Safety Programs

VI. Summary

Tools and methods in the AASHTO HSM provide value throughout the planning, project development, operations, and maintenance processes of a highway project. As a toolbox, the HSM offers the opportunity to explicitly consider safety as a key consideration along with other critical agency needs. Integrating safety into agency business, particularly during planning and early on in the project development process, will result in overall improved system safety performance.

The HSM provides planners and engineers with quantitative tools to evaluate safety impacts and safety performance. Safety performance can be a meaningful consideration for both projects funded with safety-specific funding and projects funded with nonsafety funding. The quantitative safety analysis tools in the HSM enables agencies to assess the likely effectiveness of a project and justify investments for improving safety performance. Safety can now have equal standing in programmatic and design decision-making along with asset condition, environmental effects and costs.

The HSM also offers opportunities to include safety in performance measurement and performance-based design and implementation. Integrating the HSM and data-driven performance-based solutions into the day-to-day decision-making processes at an agency will contribute to overall improvements in system performance.

Safety analysis tools to support HSM application are currently available and new versions are under development. These tools include, but are not limited to, AASHTOWare SafetyAnalyst, the IHSDM, and the FHWA CMF clearinghouse. Links to these and other tools are available at the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual web site. Additional resources and training opportunities for the HSM are posted at the FHWA HSM web site.

Integrating the HSM into agency processes and considerations will support regional, state, and national fatality reduction goals alongside the goals of mobility, the environment, and other competing needs.