Safety Benefits of Highway Infrastructure Improvements

Grants and Contracts Details


One of the best arguments for passing a long-term federal highway bill is the impact it would have on highway safety, especially upgrades of the federal, state and local highway infrastructure. Past studies have identified that roadway features are factors in as many as 30% of all motor vehicle crashes, and most significantly, past studies and reports from the highway safety community has identified a long list of "proven" safety countermeasures. Introduced in the U.S. by the AAA Foundation, the usRAP program has a unique safety management tool that is being implemented across the country. The tool rates the risk of road segments and assigns it one to five stars. More importantly, usRAP tool generates "safety investment plans" and explicit recommendations for lowering safety risks by applying proven countermeasures. The plan is calibrated to local conditions, including construction costs, and provides cost-benefit estimates for all recommendations. Research on three continents has demonstrated that if a road is upgraded by one star (say from a 2-star road to a 3-star road), socio-economic costs of crashes will be reduced by 50 percent. The objective of this research is to provide "convincing evidence" that passage of a long-term Federal Highway Program is needed to substantially upgrade the state and local highway system to reduce the risk to the motoring public to an acceptable level. And, once the Federal program is in place, to estimate the minimum safety investments needed to achieve the acceptable level of risk. The project comprehensively summarizes all of the usRAP case studies in the U.S., where star-ratings were calculated and safety investment plans were prepared (over 10,000 miles). The project identifies, justifies and recommends an appropriate "acceptable level of risk," using usRAP star-rating benchmarks or similar metrics. For example, an acceptable level might be 3-star minimum on roads with travel volumes above a certain level. The justification will consider iRAP policy standards established in other countries.
Effective start/end date4/6/1612/31/16


  • MRIGlobal: $26,400.00


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