Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

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NCHRP Project 8-36, Task 26, "Surface Transportation Safety and Investment"

Product Type

Research Report


Neuman, T. (CH2M HILL)




The U.S. Congress is in the process of considering legislation to address solutions to surface transportation problems for the next six years. AASHTO, representing the interests of its member state Departments of Transportation, and their customers, the traveling public, is studying the total investment needs for the nation's highway system. Among the most urgent needs is the addressing of what is arguably the single greatest challenge - addressing the toll of highway fatalities and injuries. In the year 2000, a total of 41,821 fatalities and 3,189,000 injuries occurred on the nation's highway system. Achieving a substantial improvement in the safety performance of the nation's highways will be a primary focus of federal, state and local highway programs implemented over the next six years. NCHRP Project 8-36, Task 26 investigated the needs in terms of investments in highway safety, and the benefits that would accrue were a concerted effort undertaken to substantially decrease the fatality rate on the U.S. highway system. AASHTO's Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) formed the basis for the investigation. A review was performed of all aspects of the plan - what is proposed, how effective actions would be, and what they might cost. The extent of safety improvements relating to the human element, vehicles, and the highway infrastructure were studied, with a focus on employing proven effective strategies in a cost-effective manner,. Effective strategies in 22 specific areas as outlined in the SHSP include legislative and policy actions, research and development, and infrastructure improvements.

Link To Research Report

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Strategic Highway Safety Plan
Emphasis Areas
Fatality Rates

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HSIS Summaries

HSIS Summary Reports are two to eight pages in length and include a brief description of the issue addressed, data used, methodology applied, significant results, and practical implications.

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