A Feasibility Study for Arizona's Roadway Safety Management Process Using the Highway Safety Manual and SafetyAnalyst

With the increased focus on safety, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has developed new safety analysis tools to help state departments of transportation identify their safety problems in a more scientific manner. Traditional techniques of identifying hot-spot locations lack methodological rigor. SafetyAnalyst is a set of software tools developed as a cooperative effort by FHWA and 27 participating state departments of transportation (DOTs) to improve programming of site-specific highway safety improvements. It provides state-of-the-art analytical tools for use in the decision-making process to identify and manage systemwide safety improvement programs. Deployment of this tool entails a new set of requirements for safety data. In Arizona some data related to roadway inventory and traffic operation are collected. However, this information is scattered, fragmented and unevaluated. There is a need to consolidate the available data and identify the missing information in order to successfully deploy the latest analytical tools for a systemwide safety assessment. Lack of adequate databases inhibits our capability to use such tools, thus limiting our ability to make informed decisions regarding cost effective allocation of scarce safety funds. This project will assess the data needs for a system-wide safety assessment, examine the existing data collection program, and identify the data gaps; develop and format the existing safety data to map it for the SafetyAnalyst software; and propose a comprehensive data collection program in the above context.