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Highway Safety Manual

Ohio is one of several states across the country working to integrate the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) into the transportation planning and design process. Ohio is considered a lead state for HSM integration working with the Transportation Pooled Fund Program to advance its use nationwide.

Over the past few years, Ohio has made significant progress in implementing the HSM, including:

  • Ohio was one of the first states in the nation to use the HSM and AASHTOWare SafetyAnalyst software to prioritize locations for safety study and improvements as part of Ohio’s Highway Safety Improvement Program. It’s also being used to score and prioritize requests for HSIP funds.
  • In 2012, ODOT incorporated the HSM into its statewide Traffic Academy Training. Through this training process, state and local transportation professionals, and consultants are beginning to understand and incorporate the principles into safety studies, transportation planning and project development analysis.
  • The department is using the HSM to simplify the design exception process, which documents the reasons for deviating from roadway design criteria, such as lane or shoulder width and sight distance. Locations with a higher than predicted number of crashes must complete a detailed analysis while other locations can complete a simplified version.

ODOT staff and consultants are also working with other states to develop automated tools that help project managers and decision makers select geometric elements and roadway features that are cost-effective in reducing crashes.

In 2013, ODOT built a single spreadsheet to automate HSM calculations using previous information and tools developed by the Alabama and Virginia DOTs and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. The Economic Crash Analysis Tool (ECAT) has the ability to calculate predicted crash frequencies, complete empirical bayes calculations, predict crash frequencies for proposed conditions, conduct alternatives analyses and complete a benefit-cost analysis.

The current file is being released for users to test and provide feedback to the department, and is being used to score HSIP funding applications in Ohio. A PDF of the future enhancements and updates will be maintained below. When starting a new project please return to this website to obtain the latest version. We will also post training opportunities.