U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Safety is the top priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Even with this focus, challenges still exist. There were an estimated 37,150 traffic-related deaths in 2017, or 1.17 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT), reinforcing the point that safety remains the Department’s top priority. Although recorded fatalities have declined on our Nation’s highways and roads over the last decade, an increase in the fatality rate over the past 3 reported years is a disturbing trend, after reaching a low of 1.08 in 2014.
While promising vehicle and infrastructure technologies, such as Automated Driving Systems (ADS), could significantly reduce fatalities over the long run, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will promote and encourage the use of an evidence-based safety program as the most effective, near-term approach to counter recent trends in the fatality rate. FHWA will continue to provide national leadership in highway safety and assistance to Federal, State, local, and tribal stakeholders to decrease deaths and serious injuries on all public roads.
To fully support the vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on the Nation’s highways, FHWA will continue to advance performance‐driven highway safety management practices and further advocate for the deployment of innovative safety countermeasures.
By improving collaboration with our partners, FHWA will continue a multi-pronged approach to reducing fatalities and serious injuries for all road users.
Strategic Objective #1: Save lives by expanding the use of data-driven, systemic safety management approaches and by increasing the adoption of proven safety solutions by all road owners.
FHWA promotes an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to safety in all phases of program and project development, including transportation planning. It includes evaluation and assessment of road owners’ challenges that enable targeted training and technical assistance to State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) to ensure effective, data-driven safety projects.
FHWA encourages and supports State and local highway agencies in improving roadway inventory and traffic volume components of safety data systems and improving crash data. This approach also establishes processes for integrating roadway inventory and traffic volume data with crash data through geolocation to a highway base map that provides a geospatial referencing system for all public roads. Improved data on all roads, whether urban or rural, leads to more accurate problem identification, analysis, and effective safety countermeasure development.
To achieve this strategic objective, FHWA will:
Lead Official: Associate Administrator (AA) for Safety.
FHWA is actively participating in the Road to Zero Coalition, a national coalition formed by the National Safety Council in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Stakeholders include not only representatives of roadway, behavioral, and vehicle safety, but also nonprofit groups, public health officials, and technology companies.
Performance Measures: The USDOT Agency Priority Goal (APG) measure is the highway fatality rate, or number of fatalities per 100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT).
Leading measures or indicators include: