State Safety Performance Targets
State Safety Performance Target Assessments Now Available for CY2020
FHWA has completed the State safety performance target assessments for calendar year (CY) 2020, which is based on the five-year rolling average for 2016 to 2020. This year represents the third cycle of States setting safety performance targets and of FHWA assessing those targets to determine if States either met the target established by the State or made significant progress. A State is determined to have met or made significant progress toward meeting their safety performance targets when at least four out of the five targets are either met or the actual outcome for the target is better than the baseline performance, which is the five-year rolling average for 2014 to 2018.
In CY 2020, only 21 States (40%) met or made significant progress toward meeting the safety performance targets that they established as compared to 22 States (42%) in 2019 and 27 States (52%) in 2018. Conversely, in CY 2020, 31 States (60%) did not meet or make significant progress as compared to 30 States (58%) in 2019 and 25 States (48%) in 2018. As provided by statute, States that did not meet or make significant progress will be required to complete and submit a Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Implementation Plan and use their Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 funding (equal to the HSIP apportionment in FY 2019) only for safety projects. Table 1 below provides a summary of the States CY 2020 safety performance target assessments.
Calendar year 2020 was a tragic year on our nation’s roadways: 38,824 people died, and the fatality rate was 1.34 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Programming for road safety should be viewed in both the context of these State performance results as well as in the broader context of this recent, dramatic, unacceptable, and preventable rise in fatalities. While updated State-by-State performance data for CY 2021 will not be available until the spring of 2023, NHTSA’s recently released Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) early estimates for CY 2021 provide another grim reminder of the toll of roadway fatalities. An estimated 42,915 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2021, which is a 10.5% increase from the previous year and the highest number of fatalities since 2005.
FHWA believes that all of us—FHWA, State transportation departments and other State, local and community partners, stakeholders and the public—are in a position to make a difference in the weeks, months and years to come to bend the curve toward zero fatalities and serious injuries. In light of the recent dramatic increase in fatalities and these safety performance results, FHWA will redouble efforts with our State transportation department partners. Together we will assess how best to set and meet achievable, aggressive safety performance targets; update or prepare Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Implementation Plans and/or Strategic Highway Safety Plans; use HSIP funds wisely while also making safety the number one priority for all Federal-aid funded road and bridge projects; undertake speed management activities including setting appropriate speed limits that address the safety of all roadway users; and design, build and maintain roads to make them safe for all users. The traveling public’s actions—as a motorist, a passenger or someone walking, biking or rolling—should always prioritize safety first.
The results of the CY 2020 safety performance target assessments are now available on FHWA’s Transportation Performance Management (TPM) website. The website provides a glimpse into each State’s safety performance targets, which represent annual performance levels as we all work toward the long-term goal of zero fatalities. The website also displays historical data; projected safety performance targets through 2022; information on how States establish each of their safety performance targets, which is taken verbatim from the State’s HSIP annual report; and a summary of the safety performance target assessment determination. The website includes the results for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 safety performance target assessments.
New this year: FHWA is making the data on the TPM website more accessible to users by including a link on each State page to download all of the State data in one file. It is important to note, however, that each State uses their own State-specific methodology when establishing annual safety performance targets. For this reason, it is difficult to draw conclusions about a State’s safety program based solely on the assessment data, as it does not reflect each State’s unique approach. For example, some States may have set aggressive targets and did not meet those targets, while other States may have set more attainable targets and met those targets.
In comparing the last three safety performance target assessments from 2018 through 2020, there has been a slight decrease in the number of States that have met or made significant progress toward their safety performance targets. There were 13 States (25%) that have met or made significant progress for all three years and 17 States (33%) that have not met or made significant progress for all three years. There were two States (4%) that met or made significant progress for the first time in 2020 and three States (6%) that did not meet or make significant progress for the first time in 2020. Table 2 below provides a comparison summary of the States CY 2018 through CY 2020 safety performance target assessments.
Safety is U.S. DOT’s top priority, and as part of the National Roadway Safety Strategy, the Department outlines a comprehensive approach to significantly reducing serious injuries and deaths of all road users on our Nation’s highways, roads, and streets. FHWA shares the vision that zero fatalities on our Nation’s roadways is the only acceptable goal. FHWA also recognizes that reaching zero fatalities will require significant effort by everyone through a wholistic Safe System approach. The State’s annual safety performance targets represent an important step in helping States work toward the ultimate goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries on our Nation’s roadways.
Directions: Click on a State to view their safety performance targets and target assessment summary.
Table 1: Summary of CY 2020 State Safety Performance Target Assessment
|STATES MEETING OR MAKING SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS||STATES NOT MEETING OR MAKING SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS|
District of Columbia
Table 2: Comparison Summary of CY 2018 through CY 2020 State Safety Performance Target Assessments
|District of Columbia||X||North Dakota|
/ State Met or Made Significant Progress X State Did Not Meet or Make Significant Progress