Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 52-08. Practices for Balancing Safety Investments in a Comprehensive Safety Program

Most state departments of transportation (DOTs) use at least a portion of their Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds on systemic safety improvement projects. However, DOTs continue to be challenged in determining how to prioritize projects and allocate funding across the various improvement types (i.e., spot, systemic, and systematic) to maximize safety benefits within their limited safety budgets. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides guidance to help DOTs determine the appropriate balance of investments between the different project types. Some DOTs choose investments based on a benefit-cost analysis (e.g. benefit-cost ratio), while others have challenges applying benefit-cost analysis procedures for systemic safety improvement projects. In these cases, DOTs may set aside a portion of their safety funds for systemic or systematic projects. The objective of this synthesis is to document current DOT practices of identifying, prioritizing, and evaluating HSIP projects. Information gathered should include (but is not limited to): (1) How states distinguish systemic vs. spot vs. systematic safety improvements (2) Current state of the practice of identifying, prioritizing, and evaluating projects (e.g. use of benefit-cost analysis for systemic projects, HSM tools) (3) How HSIP funding is allocated across the various improvement types (i.e. spot, systemic, systematic) (4) Any agency documentation for HSIP guidance. Information will be collected through literature review, a survey of DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 52-08

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Harwood, Leslie

  • Performing Organizations:

    Vanasse Hansen Brustlin

    8300 Boone Boulevard, Suite 700
    Vienna, VA  United States  22182-2624
  • Principal Investigators:

    Gross, Frank

  • Start Date: 20200501
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210923
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01739554
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 52-08
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 19 2020 9:34AM