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FHWA Home / Policy & Governmental Affairs / FHWA Strategic Plan - FY 2019-2022

FHWA FY 2019-2022 Strategic Plan


Goal: Reduce transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries across the transportation system.
green and white graphic showing an intersection rotary

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.

Key Programs and Initiatives

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:

  • Continue to implement the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), which includes developing State Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP); supporting State HSIP or program of highway safety improvement projects; continuing the Railway-Highway Crossing Program; and emphasizing a High Risk Rural Roads program in States with an increasing fatality rate on rural roads;
  • Encourage States and other partners to use Data-Driven Safety Analysis methods and tools for decisionmaking and planning, including cost-benefit analysis and data management and governance structures;
  • Promote further adoption of Proven Safety Countermeasures that practitioners can implement to successfully address roadway departure, intersection, and pedestrian and bicycle crashes;
  • Take a Focused Approach to Safety to provide additional program resources to eligible high-priority States to increase awareness on critical severe crash types that lead to identifying safety infrastructure improvements, assist in prioritizing limited resources, and create positive organizational changes in safety culture, policies and procedures; and
  • Provide technical assistance to individual agencies to demonstrate how to use multidisciplinary approaches and well-vetted models to significantly improve safety outcomes through the Roadway Data Technical Assistance Program.

Lead Official: Associate Administrator (AA) for Safety.

green and white icon depicting a roadway safety cone

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:

  • Number of State DOTs collecting all Fundamental Data Elements, which are a subset of the Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE); and
  • Number of State DOTs implementing proven safety countermeasures at the post-demonstration level on the Every Day Counts (EDC) scale.
Page last modified on October 15, 2018
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000