Multi-Solving Safety Approach - Stepping Away from Silos to Achieve a Safer System

The Safe System Approach (SSA) incorporates various stakeholders to coordinate, engage, and implement solutions that will address safer roads, safer road users, and community goals in tandem. This multidisciplinary safety approach is not a novel concept, and in fact is a major component of the decision-making for every Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) and regional and local safety plan. It also occurs during project level stakeholder engagement and as part of multidisciplinary crash investigation practices. Current national practices show that efforts related to planning and programming convene the right mix of practitioners to address safety challenges. But once engagement is complete, stakeholders often default back to working on the safety needs that best align with their responsibilities, agency priorities and skill sets. The SSA requires stakeholders to think differently, with emphasis on system solutions made by multiple disciplines working together. To implement this way of thinking, stakeholder engagement requires evolution. Committee structures, conversations and outcomes can be re-framed to better achieve multidisciplinary solutions for the system. In addition, recent dialogue related to SSA implementation has created a divide on the value of improving the built environment versus changes to human behavior. These two are not mutually exclusive and stakeholder engagement can be structured to move away from this way of thinking if advanced by a “multi-solving” approach. Multi-solving is a well-known phrase in the climate and health sectors. It is a way of solving multiple problems with a single investment of time and money by bringing together stakeholders from different sectors and disciplines to address issues in a cost-efficient manner. Multi-solving research has focused on developing and framing interventions that can simultaneously address climate change and public health goals or exploit leverage points to change complex systems by influencing outcomes that matter to key players in the system. However, by applying multi-solving within transportation safety, engagement can be framed to identify integrated behavioral and engineering solutions at a system level that solves multiple problems and benefits various road users, areas, and stakeholders. The objective of this research is to re-define stakeholder engagement during the development of safety plans, interventions, programs, projects, and policies so outcomes focus on multi-solving decision-making and implementation. The desired outcomes of this research would be examples of “coalition-to-action” models where diverse, cross-sectoral groups come together to co-create one or more interventions, programs, projects, or policies that can simultaneously influence multiple outcomes of interest to members of the diverse group.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project BTS-24

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program

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

    Governors Highway Safety Association

    444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 722
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Retting, Richard

  • Start Date: 20220721
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01852498
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project BTS-24
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 21 2022 12:53PM