February 28th, 2011
SCIENCE AND SAFETY MERGEUncategorized, by Catherine Higgins.
A new manual presents a science-based approach to selecting the right highway safety improvements.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has compiled crash data collected through a decade of research to take “the guesswork out of safety analysis.” The new approach provides a road map to help transportation professionals make the best safety choices during design, construction and maintenance of roadways.
Data collection started with a Transportation Research Board project. As that process concluded, ASSHTO took over the effort to develop a manual by assembling a joint task force with members from many states. Those experts worked together to present findings in a way “practitioners could use and understand,” says Robert Hull, UDOT’s top Traffic and Safety Engineer.
An award-winning seasoned practitioner himself, Hull contributed to development of the manual as a member of that joint task force. Collectively, task force members represented the specialized work areas of safety, traffic engineering and design.
“The key outcome is the ability to quantify from a crash number perspective,” says Hull. He is now heading development of UDOT-specific training and working to integrate the new method to “improve existing processes.”
By using crash data collected from before and after studies, engineers have more effective ways to:
- Evaluate the features of a roadway
- Identify locations that could benefit from safety improvements.
- Compare safety improvements and select the best solution for a specific location.
For more about UDOT’s focus on safety, visit the Zero Fatalities website.