Research Program Design---Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies. Measuring Performance Among State DOTs, Sharing Best Practices -- Safety

NCHRP Project 20-24(37) has been conducted to describe how use of comparative performance measures may help managers of state departments of transportation (DOTs) to improve performance of their own systems and organizations. Work to date has demonstrated that widely acceptable performance measures can be developed and provides a foundation for further collaborative development of comparative performance measures by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and its member agencies. Initial work under NCHRP 20-24(37) entailed a comparison of on-time, on-budget capital project delivery performance that expanded from an original pilot to include twenty state participants. This work demonstrated a successful approach to attracting user support as well as delivering timely feedback on best practices that have achieved successful results. A second comparative initiative, completed in April 2008, highlighted five states that have "smooth pavements" and what practical management tools they are using to deliver smoothness. Building on the success of these first two initiatives, this project will address another key concern of transportation officials: safety. Apart from certain crash fatality statistics, variability in the characteristics of data reporting complicates performance comparisons among states. The purpose of such comparisons, in this project and in general, is not to rank states' performance, but rather to highlight top-performing management strategies and to give DOT managers benchmarks for judging their own performance. Anonymity is maintained for states providing the comparison data with the exception of the top performing states that are highlighted in the reporting of successful practices. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data may be used to conduct time series and cross-sectional analysis of fatality and serious injury rates. After normalizing for urban and rural travel differences and capturing the demographic differences (such as age and ethnicity), the researchers may then be able to identify (using statistical methods) causal factors underlying lower rates observed in some states, for example, laws, adjudication, roadway condition, and emergency medical services. The objective of this project is to use the techniques developed in NCHRP Projects 20-24(37)A and 20-24(37)B) to develop comparative statistics on highway safety, factors likely influencing safety experience of states, and strategies used by states with best safety experience. Accomplishing the project's objective will entail the following tasks: (1) Conduct one or two teleconference meetings with volunteer states to define data to be provided by these states for the project. (2) Conduct one conference call to confirm that each volunteer state can produce the required data defined in the first task; each state will collect and submit the agreed upon data to the consultant for compilation and analysis. (3) Prepare a compilation of data provided by participating states, compute comparative and summary performance statistics, and provide a compilation report to each of the volunteer states. Anonymity of participating states shall be maintained and each state shall have the option to withdraw from the study at any time. (4) Identify states that are lead performers. Secure approval from these lead performers to disclose their identities for the purpose of determining Best Practices that contribute to superior performance results. (5) Prepare a summary report and PowerPoint presentation of the comparative performance measure data and analyses to illustrate examples of what could be expected from the project. (6) Conduct detailed Best Practice Analysis of the top performing states. To identify likely factors contributing to good safety performance. Survey all participants to solicit recommendations for improvements to data and research procedures for future multi-state comparisons. (7) Prepare a final report documenting the project.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $75000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-24(37)C

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Niessner, Charles

  • Performing Organizations:

    Spy Pond Partners, LLC

    Arlington, MA  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Park, Hyun-A

  • Start Date: 20081029
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20090728
  • Source Data: RiP Project 21057

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01549591
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-24(37)C
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2015 1:01AM