• Safety Data Management: Gathering and Using the Data

      Perkins, Robert A; Bennett, F. Lawrence (2016-07-14)
      How are roadway crash data acquired, stored, and utilized in engineering and management decisions regarding highway projects? This research answers that question by interviewing the engineers and professionals involved with that safety data management from six states and asking – How are safety (crash) data acquired and used in their states. Since most safety projects are funded by the federal FHWA, through the HSIP, the general flow of the safety data is similar in the states interviewed. But there are many differences in details, especially the computer hardware and software. The methods of data movement between the responder and the DOT often involve an intermediate agency, often the DMV – this varies between the states. Likewise, the program to extract these data for the DOT varies. Another pronounced difference is the transfer of HSIP funding to local agencies. Also pronounced is the use of historical crash data in the SPFs. The older method of only looking at the crash data from the location in question is not uncommon, while the more modern method of using data from similar locations via an EB analysis is becoming more common and is the currently recommended method. Most analysis software is geared to the EB analysis. Historical crash data, before and after countermeasures are installed, may be used to evaluate SPF and CMF for particular states and localities, but there are practical problems with this application of crash data, due to the time required to acquire adequate data for comparisons.