Fall 2015 Statewide Training of SafetyAnalyst in Florida
A one-hour session on Engineering Statistics 101 for Safety was held during the 2015 FDOT Design Training Expo on June 11th at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Sponsored by the Southeastern Transportation, Research, Innovation, Development and Education (STRIDE) Center, and organized by Mr. Joseph Santos, P.E. of the FDOT State Safety Office, this one-hour session provided the background on the traditional and new highway safety analysis methods including the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) and SafetyAnalyst. The HSM provides quantitative measures to estimate crash frequency and severity at a variety of locations. SafetyAnalyst is a state-of-the-art analytical tool for making system-wide safety decisions. Often advertised as a companion to Part B of the HSM, SafetyAnalyst automates all the steps in the roadway safety management process. Florida has been preparing for deploying SafetyAnalyst for the past few years. By deploying itstatewide, FDOT will, for the first time, have a standardized system to consistently conduct safety analysis across the state. A major step in implementing SafetyAnalyst is totrain the FDOT district officials on using the software.
As part of the SafetyAnalyst implementation efforts, the one-hour session on Engineering Statistics 101 for Safety aimed to introduce the advanced methods in highway safety analysis. The session primarily targeted the general audience who are interested in understanding the big picture of the highway safety analysis. It attracted over hundred safety engineers from local, district, and state offices, and their consultants. Dr. Priyanka Alluri, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University, discussed the recent advances in highway safety analysis. The issues with the traditional methods were first discussed. More specifically, the regression-to-the-mean (RTM) effect, the issues with crash frequencies and crash rates, non-linear relationship between crashes and exposure (i.e., traffic), and the differences between reactive and proactive approaches were discussed. She next explained the empirical Bayes (EB) Method, safety performance functions (SPFs), crash modification factors (CMFs), calibration factors (C), and the potential for Safety Improvement (PSI). This session will serve as a pre-requisite for the STRIDE-sponsored one-and-a-half day workshop on SafetyAnalyst to be conducted in Spring 2016. The workshop will focus on introducing the SafetyAnalyst application, and discussing its capabilities and limitations. This will be followed by a detailed review of SafetyAnalyst modules and hands-on exercises using SafetyAnalyst. This hands-on workshop will provide the necessary training to use SafetyAnalyst for making safety decisions.