Developing a Safety Effectiveness Evaluation Tool for California

Research Team: Jia Li (lead) and Michael Zhang

UC Campus(es): UC Davis

Problem Statement: Caltrans is in need of a safety tool to evaluate various safety countermeasures and to rank and prioritize safety projects.

Project Description: In partnership with the Caltrans Safety Division, this project will develop a standalone interactive software spreadsheet tool that integrates existing safety-related data and user inputs (including countermeasure types and project site characteristics) that Caltrans safety staff can use for evaluating safety effectiveness and prioritizing safety improvement projects. The tool will be able to quantify reductions from one or more countermeasures in terms of expected fatal and serious injuries. As a first step, the research team will synthesize the current state-of-practice of safety effectiveness analysis in California (and potentially other states) and identify the existing gaps in applying crash modification factors (CMF) and the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) to California roadways. Second, the team will develop recommendations to expand existing methods to address California-specific challenges. To do this, the team will incorporate all available data (including the Federal Highway Administration’s CMF, Crash Reduction Factors of California, and other before-and-after safety impact observations in California) into a model to make the best estimates of safety impacts for different project characteristics and countermeasure types. Third, the team will conduct training sessions with Caltrans employees to collect feedback and help deploy the tool.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $80,000