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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation
FHWA Highway Safety Programs

A Primer on Safety Performance Measures for the Transportation Planning Process

fhwahep09043.pdf (820.84 KB)

September 2009

Pub Number FHWA-HEP-09-043


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof.

The contents of this report refl ect the views of the contractor who is responsible for the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Department of Transportation.

The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein only because they are considered essential to the objective of this document.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

A Primer on Safety Performance Measures for the Transportation Planning Process

5. Report Date

September 2009

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

Susan Herbel (Principal Investigator), Michael D. Meyer, Bernardo Kleiner, Danena Gaines

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
100 CambridgePark Drive, Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 02140

10. Work Unit No.

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety E71-115
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report
May 2009-September 2009

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes

FHWA: Tamiko Brim-Burnell, Office of Safety and Susan Grosser, Office of Planning

16. Abstract

This Primer is a tool to help State and local practitioners, transportation planners, and decision-makers identify, select, and use safety performance measures as a part of the transportation planning process. The Primer draws from current literature, professional experience, and State DOT and MPO practice. Key elements of the Primer include: a definition of performance measures; a step-by-step description and flowchart showing how safety performance measures can be identified and integrated into the transportation planning process; characteristics of effective performance measures; a checklist to assess an organization's current status with respect to the use of safety performance measures in the transportation planning and decision-making process; a list of references; and case studies of noteworthy practice.

17. Key Words

Transportation safety, transportation planning, performance measures, case studies

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No of Pages


22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)
Reproduction of completed pages authorized