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Road Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility

By Norah Ocel P.E., Safety Partnerships Coordinator ñ FHWA Office of Safety

Our communities experienced 37,133 traffic related deaths in 2017.

Think about that number for a minute…. It means more than 100 fatalities every single day. Each death is someone’s family member or friend not arriving home!

Road Safety is a US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) strategic goal. It aims to reduce transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries across the transportation system. 

The FHWA Office of Safety’s vision and mission is ZERO traffic related deaths on our transportation system. The Office of Safety provides tools and technical assistance to states and local agencies to make better and more informed decisions that will result in saving lives. (https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/).

We have taken a focused approach to safety.  This means that based on crash data, FHWA provides additional resources to high priority states to address critical safety challenges.

There are three focus areas: Roadway Departure, Intersections and
Pedestrians/Bicycles. 

Did you know that on average 50% of roadway fatalities every year are related to roadway departure? Followed by intersections?

There are safety countermeasures that can help with roadway departure, for example rumble strips, guardrail, enhanced delineation, high friction surface treatments, and
SafetyEdgesm. The Proven Safety Countermeasures (https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/provencountermeasures/) .

Initiative (PSCi) began in 2008 and now it has a total of 20 countermeasures and strategies. This initiative encourages the widespread implementation of those treatments and strategies to accelerate efforts and save lives as well as prevent injuries on our roads.

During project development, FHWA encourages agencies to use data-driven safety analysis (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/innovation/everydaycounts/edc_4/ddsa.cfm ) during the planning, alternative analysis, design and construction, operations & maintenance processes to have the additional benefit of better targeted investments while reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries.

While states and local agencies work hard at incorporating safety into their processes to make better and more informed decisions every day that will lead to zero deaths, they can’t do it alone. We need everyone’s help. We need you! 

Drive, bike and walk alert always.

Don’t get distracted–that text or call can wait.

Wear your seatbelt!

At the end of the day we ALL want to get home safely.

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