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FHWA Highway Safety Programs

Effectiveness of Improvements

Under 23 U.S.C. 148(c)(2)(F)(i), States must establish an evaluation process to analyze and assess results achieved by highway safety improvement projects. States should report evaluation results from individual project locations, the effectiveness of groupings or similar types of highway safety improvement projects (e.g., particular countermeasures), and the effectiveness of the program as a whole. States typically look back at least 3 years for project and program evaluations. For example, States would look back to projects completed in 2013 for the 2017 report.

Program Effectiveness

States should describe the measures of effectiveness used to determine effectiveness of the HSIP, as well as the results of program level evaluations, as appropriate. Measures might include the change in total crashes, change in target crashes, benefit-cost ratio, economic effectiveness (cost per crash reduced), lives saved, injuries avoided, or crashes prevented.

In addition, States should provide any other information that demonstrates the effectiveness and success of the HSIP. For example, in some instances, successful implementation of programs, strategies or treatments may lead to policy level changes, whereby safety treatments are applied across all projects and not only safety-specific projects. Such changes should be noted in the annual report, as they represent a shift in safety culture and contribute to the success of the program.

Effectiveness of groupings or similar types of highway safety improvement projects

The effectiveness of groupings or similar types of highway safety improvement projects (e.g., particular countermeasures) is evident through SHSP emphasis area trends and the results of countermeasure effectiveness evaluations.

SHSP Emphasis Areas

At a minimum, States should present and describe highway safety trends for SHSP emphasis area performance measures that relate to the HSIP.

Countermeasure Effectiveness

Many States group similar types of projects for HSIP implementation. Projects may be grouped by crash type or countermeasure category (e.g., median barrier). States should report the results of countermeasure evaluations, as appropriate. States should not only provide the results of the evaluation, but also supporting information such as the target crash type, number of installations or miles of treatment included in the evaluation, or number of years of before and after data and evaluation methodology. The State may also include the research report or other documentation as an attachment to the HSIP report.

Project Effectiveness

States should monitor the effectiveness of individual projects in addressing the target crash types, consistent with the State HSIP evaluation processes. The FHWA encourages States to report information from individual project evaluations using the template provided in the online reporting tool. The FHWA uses this information to support national efforts to estimate the benefits of the HSIP. Relevant evaluation information includes:

  • General background information (e.g., report year, project name);
  • Improvement type;
  • Method for site selection;
  • Project outputs;
  • Project costs;
  • Roadway characteristics (e.g., functional classification, ownership); and
  • Before and after data (i.e., # years, average annual daily traffic (AADT), crashes – fatal, serious injury, all injury, property damage only (PDO), total).