Incorporating the Safe System Approach into Road Safety Audits

As the United States begins to engage in the Safe System approach (SSA) to road safety, opportunities exist to update current tools. The Road Safety Audit (RSA), known as the Road Safety Assessment in some agencies, is one such tool. As safety practitioners become familiar with the concepts and principles of SSA, there is a need for practical and implementable recommendations to apply these concepts and principles to the key functions of transportation agencies and individual practitioners. RSAs are a tool commonly used in jurisdictions at all levels and present an opportunity for increasing awareness and use of the SSA. The objective of this research is to develop a guide with appropriate supplemental materials providing clear and actionable strategies to effectively integrate Safe System principles into the road safety audit process. The guide should include recommended procedures, methods, and tools for safety audit practitioners on how to assess the design and operations of new and existing facilities from a SSA perspective. This would include incorporating speed management, road user separation, human factors, and the principles of road user equity in design. The research will develop guidelines for transportation agencies that can be used for the planning, design, construction, and operations of road systems. Searching for opportunities to reverse the upward trend in traffic fatalities, many states are interested in moving toward SSA and have been searching for practical ways to implement SSA principles. Many strides have been made in the field of transportation safety since the original RSA concept was developed and implemented. This research will help safety professionals more fully understand the relationship between SSA and RSA process and develop recommendations for fatality reduction programs and projects.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $425000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 17-125

  • 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:

    Turner, Anne-Marie

  • Start Date: 20230725
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01888635
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 17-125
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 25 2023 8:02AM