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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



This Safety Toolkit developed for Rural Local and Tribal Road Practitioners provides a step-by-step process and identifies resources for conducting road safety analysis. The Toolkit should be considered a starting point for safety analysis and is designed to provide a number of resources and techniques that are flexible in their application. The Toolkit can help practitioners:

  • Study and improve safety at one intersection or road segment; and/or
  • Study and improve safety for a whole category of roadway types or intersections (e.g., all two-way stop-controlled intersections in town, or all two-lane rural highways in a community).

The Toolkit is designed for local and Tribal agency staff responsible for roadway safety. These staff typically have a wide range of expertise and experience, along with broad responsibilities, but may not have a formal background in traffic safety. The Toolkit provides plain language guidance to help them enhance roadway safety in their community.

The road safety analysis process shown in Figure 1 can be used as a step-by-step process starting with Step 1 and moving progressively through Step 7 or as a guide to applying one or more individual steps as deemed necessary. For each step of the process, the Toolkit provides an overview of:

  • What the step is;
  • How or when the step might be accomplished; and
  • Resources for learning more about how to conduct analyses within each step.

There also are two User Guides available. Each User Guide demonstrates the Toolkit in practice by walking through a typical local or Tribal road safety analysis scenario:

  • User Guide #1 – Improving Safety on Rural Local and Tribal Roads – Site Safety Analysis describes how to conduct a site-specific safety analysis. This scenario assumes community stakeholders have complained about safety conditions at one site and the agency has decided to evaluate the site. It is assumed the agency has crash data but does not have a lot of data about roadway configurations and characteristics or traffic volume data.
  • User Guide #2 – Improving Safety on Rural Local and Tribal Roads – Network Safety Analysis describes how to conduct a proactive analysis of a component of the transportation network such as all two-lane road segments, or all stop-controlled intersections. In this scenario, the agency has decided to study safety conditions at all of the two-way stop-controlled intersections in the community. The agency has decided to develop a prioritized list of sites with potential for safety improvement. In this scenario, the community has crash data and some information about roadway conditions and traffic volume.

Overall the purpose of the FHWA Toolkit and User Guides is to assist local and Tribal road practitioners in conducting analyses to identify and diagnose safety issues; identify and implement countermeasures to address them in order to save lives on their roadways. Also included is information about the many resources available for conducting the analyses and step-by-step examples of how to do so.