Implementation of the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual
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Implementation of the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual

Filetype[PDF-1.30 MB]


  • English

  • Details:

    • Corporate Contributors:
    • Resource Type:
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    • Edition:
      Final report; 10/21/2010-9/30/2012.
    • NTL Classification:
      NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Highway Safety ; NTL-REFERENCES AND DIRECTORIES-REFERENCES AND DIRECTORIES ; NTL-PLANNING AND POLICY-Plans and Policy Statements ; NTL-PLANNING AND POLICY-Management Systems ;
    • Abstract:
      This report outlines a cost-effective and thoughtful way to implement the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) in Alabama. The HSM was published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and it was prepared by the Transportation Research Board over a ten-year period using more 100 volunteers. The team included a broad cross section of safety scientists, academic researchers, transportation practitioners, and others, and this was reflected in the content of the HSM. The resulting document was comprehensive (over 1,000 pages); and it significantly enhanced the science of roadway safety and introduced new terminology, procedures, and protocols. Due to the size of the document, the new terminology, the new concepts, and many other issues, moving the HSM off the shelf and into practice is an exceedingly difficult task. It helps to have an implementation roadmap from the beginning. The volunteers who developed the HSM did not realize the need for implementation assistance until after the HSM was prepared. At that time several agencies and organizations realized that a roadmap was needed, and several good implementation outlines became available. But the implementation task is still overwhelming for those who did not participate in the preparation of the HSM and find themselves leading the transition of state departments of transportation from their previous safety programs into a completely new and complex HSM-based program. For example, the decision is difficult (and expensive) about whether to acquire, develop, or ignore software to support the HSM. Likewise, the amount and level of training, the need for new data, and other issues require time and study to make implementation cost effective yet successful. The Alabama Department of Transportation decided that it would be best to study the key implementation issues and choose a course of action that best fit the needs, existing programs, and resources of the state and of ALDOT. This report presents the results of such a study. The research team that conducted this project gleamed information from ongoing efforts, identified users of the HSM in Alabama and what they needed from it, evaluated the capabilities of several tools and software to perform the analytical aspects of the HSM, investigated the implementation of existing major software (SafetyAnalyst and IHSDM), assessed data needs and gaps in Alabama data, mapped the capabilities of Alabama’s existing safety software CARE to SafetyAnalyst, developed Safety Performance Functions for Alabama roads, and performed other investigations. Based on these findings, the research staff developed implementation steps and actions on three bases: by the ALDOT Office of Safety Operations; by ALDOT Divisions, Sections, and other work units; and by implementation component or activity. These three lists are intended to provide guidance for a flexible implementation over three time periods: short term, mid term, and long term.
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