Transportation Safety Resources

The following is a listing of the most recent publications for this topic.

Quick Bite (Railroad Grad Crossing/Bicycles): Two-Way Separated Bike Lanes at Railroad Grade Crossings
**This resource has been updated to reflect the release of the 11th edition of MUTCD** Two-way separated bicycle lanes can be challenging to implement due to the many conflicting movements involved. A gated railroad grade crossing requires particularly high levels of care in handling crossing movements. Adding bicycle movements outside of the vehicle space can greatly increase the complexity.
Feb 29, 2024
Quick Bite (Transportation Safety): Modern Roundabouts, from Design to Safety Evaluation
This Quick Bite provides a brief overview of how roundabouts have grown in use in the U.S. and discusses some of the key aspects that roundabout developers should consider from the driver perspective.
Jan 25, 2024
Quick Bite (Transportation Safety): Using Ball Bank Indicator (BBI) to Assess Lane Departure Risk
In an effort to reduce fatalities on Georgia sharp curves, GDOT has established a curve inventory on all state routes. Various data are associated to these curves that include road geometry, crash data, traffic volume, and ball bank indicator (BBI). This quick bite summarizes GDOT's recent study with Georgia Tech to 1) assess the relationship between BBI and crash data on curves and 2) propose a strategy to proactively assess the risk of lane departures using BBI. Conducting a proactive assessment for lane departures is a critical practice since lane departures are often limited in number but are often severe.
Jan 25, 2024
Safe System Approach for Speed Management
A landmark new report, Safe System Approach to Speed Management, will help practitioners better understand the impacts of speed on traffic safety and explore the link between speed management and the Safe System Approach by introducing a five-stage Safe System Approach for Speed Management framework. The report includes case studies and examples to demonstrate how agencies have been able to overcome institutional barriers and rally behind Safe System Approach principles to enact speed management programs with proven, measurable reductions in operating speeds and crashes. ITE was the contractor responsible for the development of this report.
Jun 22, 2023
ITE Technical Brief: Institutionalizing the Safe System Approach in Local Road Safety Plans
This document considers opportunities to evolve and align the LRSP process with a more robust and holistic safety framework, embracing national and international best practice--the Safe System approach--to address our road safety crisis in the United States.
May 9, 2023
ITE Technical Brief: Applications of Big Data in Safety Analysis
In 2021, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Safety Council published the Technical Brief Incorporating Big Data into Safety Analysis: An Integrated and Proactive Approach, defining "Big Data" in the context of safety and describing how Big Data can be used to supplement traditional crash data. This Technical Brief builds upon the former and provides a guide to help transportation professionals understand how to define and incorporate Big Data when scoping, implementing, and evaluating safety projects. Case studies of specific applications are included to illustrate real world examples of evaluating safety performance with Big Data. In contrast to Big Data, traditional crash data is typically collected by law enforcement agencies after a collision has occurred. Human error when documenting collision factors is possible and consistency in reporting may vary, often requiring additional effort from analysts to validate and compile meaningful and consistent data from collision report. Additionally, traditional crash datasets may be too small to have predictive power, especially in rural or low traffic volume locations. Using traditional crash data to identify locations with high crash frequency is reactive; that is, a crash must occur for data to be collected. Big Data allows practitioners to study a larger number of potential traffic incidents by evaluating specific contributing factors (i.e., driver behavior) that could increase the risk of collisions.
Apr 10, 2023
ITE Technical Brief: Pandemic Quick Builds: Lessons Learned and What Comes Next
This report was developed by the ITE Complete Streets Council and provides case studies of quick build projects. Each case study provides a background, a description of its development, the implementation and outcomes, and lessons learned. Projects in this publication include: Vision Zero Innovation Program (Boulder, CO); MOVE Culver City Tactical Mobility Lane Pilot: Downtown Corridor (Culver City, CA); Active Streets (Milwaukee, WI); Slow Streets Program (Oakland, CA); and Implementation of Bus Priority Projects in the District (Washington, DC).
Feb 14, 2023
ITE Technical Brief: Incorporating Big Data into Safety Analysis: An Integrated and Proactive Approach
In the past few years, Big Data has emerged as an important alternative for numerous transportation studies, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, data collection for traffic studies conducted during the pandemic was not possible due to the reduction in traffic volumes. Big Data sources allowed practitioners to obtain representative peak hour traffic counts at a certain intersection for a specific day and time retroactively. Big Data appears to be a good source for data collection and integration moving forward, especially in the safety field. "Incorporating Big Data into Safety Analysis: An Integrated and Proactive Approach" is a Technical Brief developed by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Safety Council. This document defines Big Data in the context of safety, addresses how Big Data can supplement traditional data, and how it can improve safety by filling the existing gaps. Traditional crash data collection is highly labor and resource intensive. In addition, the quality of data can be questionable depending on resources available. Crashes can be underreported, and analysis relying on such data could produce biased outcomes. One technique for better understanding motor vehicle incidents, injuries, and the resultant medical outcomes is to link traditional data sources such as police, hospital, and emergency medical service (EMS) records to Big Data sources such as speed, travel time, origin-destination, land use and zoning, air quality, financial data, public health datasets, and driver behavior data. Socio-demographic and economic factors can also be integrated into the safety analysis process, incorporating equity into safety improvements prioritization. Further, traditional safety analysis has mostly been focused on a reactive approach, where hotspots are identified based on historical crash data, and locations with a high number of crashes (or severe crashes) are typically the candidates for safety improvements. Although there are methods, such as the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) predictive analysis, that include proactive safety elements, Big Data is an alternative to complement and improve existing proactive safety analysis; hard braking events, for example, can be obtained from Big Data, allowing safety improvements to be made at high-risk locations before crashes occur. Big Data sources help identify needs, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists. For example, data from connected vehicles, smartphones, and video cameras can provide pedestrian and bicyclist exposure, assist with trip routes, and inform where midblock improvements for pedestrians or bike route improvements should be implemented before incidents occur. Lastly, in most crashes, driver behavior is a contributing factor. Understanding how driver behavior impacts safety is important to inform better roadway design, construction, repair, and improvement. Technology-driven strategies that combine telematics, mapping, and video data to track vehicle speed, location, direction of movement, and hard braking event locations have been deployed to influence driver behavior and improve road safety. Further, data can be generated experimentally through simulating scenarios such as driving simulator studies and from in-vehicle and devices installed outside the vehicle to collect real world observations. This report includes a discussion on how Big Data is currently being used to strengthen the safety data we now use, what the available sources for safety professionals are, and what issues still need to be addressed. This report focus areas are proactive safety approach, data collection and processing, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and driver behavior.
Aug 5, 2022
ITE Commends USDOT's National Roadway Safety Strategy
The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) commends the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Secretary Pete Buttigieg on the release of the department's new National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS), setting a goal of zero roadway fatalities and adopting the Safe System Approach. The NRSS embraces a human-centered focus founded on the Safe System Approach, which seeks to advance the complementary objectives of Safer People, Safer Roads, Safer Vehicles, Safer Speeds, and Post-Crash Care. It recognizes that achieving this ambitious goal will require a USDOT-wide approach working with stakeholders across the country.
Jan 27, 2022
Developing Trends Facing the Transportation Profession: A Thought Leadership Report by the ITE Council Leadership Team (2021 Edition)
The 2021 ITE Developing Trends Report represents collective input from ITE Councils and Standing Committees on emerging transportation challenges and solutions. The report covers transportation planning, engineering, management, and operation advancements and will benefit the industry's leaders and professionals in the public and private sectors. The Developing Trends Report Task Force reached out to all ITE Councils and Standing Committees to identify trends relevant to their scope and expertise.
Jan 11, 2022
2022 Excellence in Highway Safety Data Award
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is pleased to announce the Excellence in Highway Safety Data Award, which is part of the Highway Data Analysis Excellence Awards Program. The award is designed to encourage university students to use Highway Safety Information System (HSIS) data to investigate a topic that advances highway safety and to develop a paper to document their original research. The Excellence in Highway Safety Data Award encourages university students and potential future highway safety professional to use HSIS data. The goal is to introduce students to using high-quality safetydata andappropriateresearch methodsto derive recommendations, and the practice of using data to make decisions.
Nov 9, 2021
ITE Technical Brief: Essential Components of Incorporating Safety in Transportation Impact Analysis
The primary purpose of Essential Components of Incorporating Safety in Transportation impact Analysis is to provide information about this evolving and increasingly critical field. While no single method for implementing safety impact analysis is preferred, this document will outline key decisions and tools for agencies and their potential benefits and costs. The intended audiences are agency practitioners and consultants seeking ways to institutionalize safety and fund safety enhancements, including those looking to implement existing safety plans. It is also intended for developers responding to development guidelines and students or young professionals learning about impact analysis practices.
Oct 17, 2021
Safe System Strategic Plan
The Safe System Strategic Plan provides a roadmap for the advancement of the Safe System Approach in the U.S. It describes the Safe System Approach, discusses the process involved in building the plan, outlines how to advance a Safe System mindset, and describes steps necessary to implement Safe System practices within the transportation community in the U.S. This plan focuses on the role of road system owners and operators in applying the Safe System Approach to design, build, and operate safer roads. This plan aims to educate transportation professionals on the effectiveness of the Safe System Approach while also offering guidance on how to prioritize safety in the U.S. as a means to achieving zero traffic fatalities.
Sep 28, 2021
Quick Bite: Multimodal Safety Analysis – Atlanta, GA
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) continues to strive to make all roadways in Georgia safer for all modes. This quick bite presents recent GDOT efforts to develop a comprehensive plan to identify opportunities for projects that will dedicate infrastructure to serve pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users on state routes within Midtown and Downtown Atlanta.
Sep 15, 2021
ITE Quick Bite: Vulnerable Road User Safety at Signalized Intersections
Vulnerable road users-- which may include individuals using micromobility devices such as scooters or bicycles, people walking, people using wheelchairs, or youth and seniors -- make up a disproportionately high percentage of fatalities and serious injuries related to travel. Signalized intersections can be particularly challenging to navigate for vulnerable road users. Fortunately, there are numerous proven safety countermeasures that can be applied strategically to improve the safety of vulnerable road users at these locations.
Jun 2, 2021
The Safe System Consortium: A Call to Action
The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Johns Hopkins University (JHCIRP), known for its leadership in the public health arena, in collaboration with the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), recognized for its leadership in the practice of transportation planning and transportation engineering, recently convened the Safe System Consortium, with support from the FIA Foundation. This Consortium included a diverse group of experts including transportation planners and engineers, public health professionals, safety advocates, academics, researchers, and international road safety experts.
Jun 1, 2021
What Type of Crash Can We Expect? Designing for Safety at Common Traffic Control Devices
Lowering crash severity is a critical priority for transportation professionals and all those in the transportation community who are actively adopting Vision Zero. With the goal of reaching zero fatality and serious injury crashes, the need to better understand the factors related to severe cases becomes essential. Crash severity is highly shaped by the crash type, or manner of collision. For example, the odds of being fatally injured in a crash greatly increases for head-on and rollover crashes. Severity has been found to be highest for head-on collisions, followed by angle crashes, and lower for rear end and sideswipe crashes.4 Given this relationship between crash type and severity, it is critical that transportation professionals understand the likelihood of specific crash types to occur at various traffic control devices. A large-scale study in the United States revealing this relationship has yet to exist in literature. This information will guide future decision-making, guiding transportation practitioners to implement the most critical countermeasures to achieve the highest level of safety.
Jun 1, 2021
Recommended Actions to Help Transportation Agencies Implement the Highway Safety Manual
Performance-based processes that use data-driven safety performance measures offer potential for state and local transportation agencies to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries that occur on the nation's highways and to make informed decisions to reduce project and operating costs. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Highway Safety Manual (HSM) provides safety knowledge and tools to facilitate improved decision making based on safety performance. The HSM enables transportation agencies to use performance-based statistical approaches when designing for the safety performance of a facility, rather than simply adhering to traditional design policies and standards, such as the AASHTO A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
Jun 1, 2021
Member to Member: Building a Safety Legacy
Brian Chandler, P.E., PTOE, RSP2IB, PMP National Director for Transportation Safety, DKS Associates, Seattle, WA, USA
Jun 1, 2021
ITE Virtual Drop-In Session: Traffic Safety - Are the Other Two E's Pulling Their Weight?
Convener: Peter Yauch, Iteris
Mar 2, 2021