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Highway Safety Manual


The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials' Highway Safety Manual was developed to help measurably reduce the frequency and severity of crashes on highways by providing tools for considering safety in the planning and project development processes.

This manual assists transportation engineers in:

  • Selecting countermeasures and prioritizing projects,
  • Comparing alternatives, and
  • Quantifying and predicting the safety performance of roadway elements considered in planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation.

Oregon Application of the Highway Safety Manual

Unlike other engineering standard documents, the Highway Safety Manual is not formally adopted by a state. The manual does not establish a legal standard of care for highway safety. Rather it should be implemented with other highway safety policies of the state or local jurisdiction.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has evaluated the concepts included in the Highway Safety Manual and initiated activities related to the ideas presented in the manual.

The greatest barrier to implementing Highway Safety Manual concepts is the need for better crash and road inventory data that can easily integrate into associated tools, providing system-wide highway safety analysis. Much of the research activities and discussions in which ODOT is engaged center on these issues.

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