Velocity management is a critical element of the secure systems approach.
Great progress has been made in transport safety in recent decades. Despite the sharp increase in traffic, the fatality rate has fallen from 5.5 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles (VMT) in 1966 to 1.11 deaths in 2019. Despite this success, reduced traffic speeds and speeding-related accidents and fatalities continue to pose some complex challenges. Early estimates show that death rates and speeding-related deaths increased in 2020 during the COVID-19 public health emergency compared to 2019, although 2020 was anomalous.
Studies clearly show that higher speeds at the time of a collision result in a greater impact, resulting in more serious injuries and fatalities. This is of particular importance for the most vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. Per vehicle-miles traveled in 2019, motorcyclist fatalities were almost 29 times higher than car occupant fatalities, and 33% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2019 were speeding. Pedestrians accounted for 17% of road deaths in 2019, with 6,205 fatalities. Cyclists accounted for about 2% of fatalities in 2019, with 846 cyclist fatalities.
The higher the speed of the vehicle at the time of impact, the greater the risk of death for the pedestrian hit.
As higher speeds increase the death toll, new approaches to speed management, such as B. the Safe-System approach, needed to reduce road deaths and increase safety for all road users. To underscore the importance of this issue, the National Transportation Safety Board has identified both "Implementing a Comprehensive Strategy to Prevent Speeding-Related Accidents" and "Protecting Vulnerable Road Users Through a Safe Systems Approach" as part of its 2021-2022 planMost wanted listof improvements in transport security (found inwww.ntsb.gov/safety/mwl/Pages/default.aspx).
Speeding up as a security issue
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines an accident as speeding related if a driver involved in the accident is charged with a speeding-related offense or if a police officer indicates that he was racing, speeding for the conditions or has exceeded the posted speed limit. Contributor to an accident. The latest data from NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) found that there were 9,478 speeding-related fatalities in 2019, accounting for 26% of all road traffic fatalities for the year. 86% of speeding-related fatalities where the functional class was reported occurred on non-interstate highways. Drivers in fatal speeding-related accidents were more likely to have prior convictions for speeding and/or drunk driving (BAC 0.08 g/dL or greater), prior accidents, and license suspension or revocation compared to non-speeding drivers in fatal accidents.
Speed feedback signals like this can encourage drivers to heed speed limits and warnings.
NHTSA's nationally representative survey of U.S. transit speeds, conducted in 2015, found that 70% of free-flow vehicles on limited-access roads exceeded posted speed limits, 59% of vehicles on major arteries, and 60% of vehicles on secondary roads and collecting roads exceeding the prescribed speed limit. Speeds in the 85th percentile in 2015 were significantly higher on arterial, secondary and collector roads than in the previous national survey in 2009. The full survey is available athttps://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/35961.
The COVID-19 public health emergency has made speeding more obvious. Traffic speeds across the country increased compared to historical levels during the same period, particularly on urban freeways, with many reports of motorists driving at extremely high speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. In 2020, when VMT declined by 13.2%, the death rate rose to 1.37 deaths per 100 million VMT, up from 1.11 in 2019, with a projected 7.2% increase in deaths and an increase in deaths by 11% related to speeding. There is evidence that a combination of less congested roads and a higher percentage of riskier drivers contributed to this increase.
Many factors play into drivers' speeding choices, but drivers' beliefs and attitudes play an important role in their driving behavior and cultural acceptability of speeding. For example, the NHTSA Motivations for Speeding study on science driving showed that drivers' motivations, attitudes, and beliefs are "highly significant predictors" of which drivers accelerate and how hard they accelerate. Several studies have identified settings that contribute to speed, such as B. Impatience with other drivers, wanting to get there as quickly as possible, enjoying driving fast, and believing that driving fast is not dangerous for experienced drivers.
Traffic professionals have recognized that creating a positive traffic safety culture is critical to addressing speeding as a safety issue. All five elements of the Safe System approach can be applied to speeding; However, the elements of safe speeds and safe roads are of particular importance in creating a successful speed management program and promoting safe speed management.
Safe speeds are one of the five elements of the Safe System Approach. Using safe speeds reduces impact forces, increases visibility and reduces stopping distances.
The importance of speed management
When drivers travel at higher speeds, they need more time to react when they perceive changes in the road environment ahead. Once the brakes are applied, the distance required to stop the vehicle is directly related to the vehicle speed at the moment of braking and the vehicle weight; Higher speeds and heavier vehicles simply take longer to stop, so these factors consequently lead to an increased likelihood of collision. Speed also affects the severity of a collision. The force experienced in a collision is directly related to the speed at the time of the collision: "The energy release is proportional to the square of the impact speed," according to the Transportation Research BoardSpecial Report 254: Speed Management - Review of current practice for setting and enforcing speed limits🇧🇷 These factors demonstrate how effective speed management using the Safe System Approach, defined as kinetic energy management, can help reduce serious injuries and fatalities related to speeding.
This graph shows distance traveled for Perception/Reaction and Stop by Velocity. As soon as the driver starts to react, the vehicle covers a greater distance during an evasive manoeuvre, the driver is less able to avoid objects on the road, the risk increases that "an evasive maneuver will lead to a loss of control". ’ and more stopping distance is required.
Speed management is an approach that focuses on achieving safe mobility by setting appropriate speed limits, reducing speeding, and reducing and/or mitigating the impact of speeding-related accidents. The goal of the U.S. Department of Transportation's speed management program is to improve public health and safety by reducing speed-related deaths and injuries and providing a better safety experience for all road users. The following key speed management strategies and activities to achieve the USDOT Speed Management Program goal have been identified by the USDOT Intermodal Speed Management Team, which consists of NHTSA, FHWA and the Federal Motor Carrier
- Develop and implement court-wide speed management programs and plans.
- Describe how to set safe, consistent, and enforceable speed limits based on the presence of all road users and context, not just the operating speed of drivers.
- Apply safety best practices to achieve safe speeds for the safety of all road users.
- Enhance accident data reporting forms with targeted speeding-related accident reports that provide consistency and focus on identifying contributing factors.
- Implement enforcement through transparent, highly visible activities, educational programs and awareness campaigns, rather than focusing solely on enforcement.
- Consider equity in agility when making managerial decisions.
The team is currently updating the USDOTOperating guidelines for speed enforcement systems.The updated guide is expected to be renamedPlanning and operating guide for speed camera programsand will emphasize that speed cameras are an effective countermeasure to improve safety by controlling traffic speed.
Notable safety programs recognize safe speeds as a key factor in achieving the goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries. All Zero Death programs relate to the safe systems approach to achieving safe speeds and the need to create a positive road safety culture and improve driver behavior as part of effective speed management.
The safe speed element of the safe systems approach can be achieved through a comprehensive speed management program. There are challenges and opportunities when considering speed management in relation to the Safe System Approach. This includes how to set safe speeds consistently in all contexts, how to effectively set safe speed limits that are not solely dependent on the driver's operating speed, how to effectively achieve a target speed using road geometry, and how to incorporate the concepts of kinetic energy force - and speed harmonization in existing speed management policies. To address the challenges, FHWA and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) are jointly developing additional capabilities as speed management practices shift to the application of the Safe System Approach.
The City of Portland, OR, has introduced a new speed limit of 20 miles per hour on nearly 70% of the city's streets as part of a comprehensive speed management program.
FHWA: Work towards a better understanding and management of velocity
Speeding and speed management are complex, cross-sectoral challenges that involve the interplay of many factors, including effective road design, posted speed limits, political climate, road user behavior, enforcement strategies, and court decisions. Collaboration is key to combating speeding as a safety issue. National agencies and organizations such as FHWA, NHTSA and ITE provide resources and technical support for safety through speed management.
The FHWA has focused on establishing reasonable, consistent and enforceable speed limits and assisting state and local authorities in implementing effective speed management infrastructure and technical countermeasures to encourage motorists to obey speed limits. Through its Proven Safety Countermeasures Initiatives program, FHWA is providing technical support to promote the implementation of a number of proven speed control countermeasures, including a variable speed limit system, speed cameras and setting speed limits appropriate for all road users. Recently, FHWA initiated a new program to explore concepts and techniques to integrate the safe systems approach with speed management.
Safe speeds, one of the five elements of the Safe System Approach, are essential for all road users.
Speed management is receiving increasing attention from state and local agencies, particularly those who have adopted the Vision Zero goals and are beginning to implement the Safe System Approach. Forty-four states have incorporated speeding or speed management into their road safety strategic plans. A comprehensive speed management program is critical to ensure authorities can work together to address safe speeds in a holistic approach. Speed management program plans establish goals, identify gaps and needs, establish strategies and planned activities, and integrate state of the art practices for successful implementation of speed management programs. FHWA has provided direct technical support and has helped a number of agencies successfully develop and implement speed management program plans. Some of the recently developed program plans contain recommendations and strategies to promote a positive road safety culture and the application of the Safe System approach.
In recent years, the FHWA has endeavored to update existing resources and create new resources on speed management for professionals and provide technical support for speed management. These include the recently published report,Notable speed management practices(FHWA-SA-20-047,https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/speedmgt/ref_mats/fhwasa20047/fhwasa20047.pdf), which contains examples of successful implementations of speed management countermeasures by public authorities in:
- Develop and implement a city-wide strategic speed management program with comprehensive speed management activities, established key indicators, goal achievement metrics and an integrated effort, including enforcement;
- introducing safe, uniform and enforceable speed limits for all road users in rural and urban environments;
- Applying alternative technical and enforcement countermeasures, such as road self-enforcement and speed cameras, to achieve established speed limits for the safety of all road users;
- Enhance accident data forms with targeted reports on speeding accidents that provide consistency and focus on accident handling by identifying contributing factors; and
- Implement enforcement through transparency and use an “educational” initiative rather than strict enforcement details.
In addition, FHWA has also enhanced education and training for more transportation professionals on USLIMITS2, a web-based tool for setting safe speed limits. With support from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), FHWA is developing the next-generation tool, USLIMITS3, which will incorporate cutting-edge research and methodologies such as the Safe System Approach to set safe speed limits for all users of the road.
NHTSA Speed Management activities
NHTSA Speed Management Program efforts are focused on a safe systems approach to enforcement, education, emergency response, vehicle safety and behavioral research to develop safety countermeasures, as well as providing resources and technical assistance to support state and local professionals (www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding#resources🇧🇷 The agency works closely with law enforcement agencies through its Law Enforcement Liaison Program. It also works with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to create model specifications for speed measurement devices and maintains a "Compliant Product List" of devices that meet the specifications. In addition, NHTSA provides training and guidance on the use of these devices, as well as other law enforcement training, including a High Visibility Law Enforcement Toolkit.
NHTSA provides training for traffic safety professionals through its speed management course, taught by the Transportation Safety Institute, and issues notices to educate the public about speed safety and speed avoidance. The agency also conducts a wide range of innovative research projects to identify security issues; advance scientific knowledge in this area; and supporting the development of countermeasures to equitably improve speed management and reduce traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities, including preparing an effective countermeasures report entitledCountermeasures that work🇧🇷 In addition, NHTSA supports accident emergency medicine efforts and provides a robust vehicle safety program to improve accident safety, occupant protection, and accident avoidance technologies.
"Speeding is a leading cause of vehicle accidents," said Nanda Srinivasan, NHTSA associate administrator for program research and development. “Speeding puts everyone at risk – driver, passengers and other road users. There's no excuse for running—whether you're running late [or] the streets are empty or congested.”
Ossian, IA received a trial exemption from the Manual on Uniform Devices for this highly visible lane marking to improve posted speed limit compliance.
ITE's speed management efforts
ITE continually focuses on improving speed management for safety and provides updated resources and guidance as speeding information evolves rapidly. In 2019, ITE released a resource hub that includes available speed management features useful for transportation professionals (www.ite.org/technical-resources/topics/speed-management-for-safety).
In partnership with the Vision Zero Network, ITE has conducted a series of Speed Management for Safety workshops to help government agencies implement a safe and comprehensive approach to speed management, from assistance in outlining program objectives to methodologies to set boundaries and more effectively design roads to manage speeds. After conducting a workshop in the city of Austin, TX, they implemented a comprehensive speed management program upon completion of the workshop held there in 2019, and FHWA featured the Austin Speed Management Program for its accomplishmentsNotable speed management practices(FHWA-SA-20-047) Publication in the following year. One of Austin's most recent speed management successes was in June 2020, when the City Council voted unanimously to lower speed limits on residential streets, urban thoroughfares, and downtown.
In 2021, Vision Zero Network and ITE conducted Managing Speed for Safety workshops in three California communities to assist in the development and maintenance of effective speed management safety programs as the State of California continues to explore ways to to move forward at safe speeds. More recently, ITE commented on the guidance on setting speed limits in the proposed amendments to theUnified Traffic Control Devices Handbook, and is initiating a joint effort with the FHWA to explore ways to further advance the Safe System Approach by achieving target speeds.
"Safe speeds are a key component of the Safe System approach and essential to achieve Vision Zero," said Jeffrey F. Paniati, P.E., Executive Director and CEO of ITE. “An effective speed management program can only be created and sustained through strong partnerships between those responsible for planning, design, operation and enforcement of the road system.”
Speed management countermeasures for residential streets can include speed bumps like these, which calm vehicular traffic, but also include wheel cuts that can be used to bypass fire equipment in an emergency.
USDOT continues to work diligently to make equitable and effective speed management a statewide priority by conducting cutting-edge research and providing critical resources to support state and local speed management efforts to reduce speeding injuries and fatalities. The recent commitment to the Safe System approach is promising and has proven internationally to be an effective way of establishing safe speed limits and working towards a zero road fatality target. Solving safety problems related to speeding by incorporating new concepts, approaches and technologies into traditional speed management can reduce the speed problem in the country and improve overall road safety.
"We are committed to promoting the Safe System approach and working with our partners to achieve safe speeds for all road users," said Michael S. Griffith, director of FHWA's Office of Safety Technologies.
Undoubtedly, as practice progresses, new challenges will come our way. The Safe System approach, which takes into account all road users in the transport system and new technologies in vehicles and infrastructure, offers opportunities and promises to reduce injuries and fatalities related to speeding. Regardless of the challenges associated with speeding, USDOT and its partners are prepared to address them through comprehensive speed management as part of the implementation of the Safe System Approach.
Guan Xu, P.E., is a road engineer at FHWA's Office of Safety Technologies, where she leads the Speed Management Safety program. She has an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.
Abdul Zineddin acts as the Head of the Security Operations Team for the FHWA Security Office. It monitors safety issues related to pedestrians, cyclists, intersections, speed management, connected and automated vehicles, and local and rural roads. He has bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. in Civil Engineering from Penn State University.
Randolph Atkins is the director of NHTSA's Behavioral Research Division. He oversees behavioral research on speeding, impaired driving and motorcycle, pedestrian and bicycle safety and has conducted numerous studies on speeding and road safety. He holds a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Virginia.
Sarah Abel, RSP1, is Sustainable Safety Practice Manager at Toole Design and was formerly Director of Transportation Planning at ITE. His work mainly focuses on traffic planning, speed management and the safety of vulnerable road users. She serves on the Steering Committee of the National Complete Streets Coalition and on the Bicycle Technical Committee of the National Committee on Uniform Devices for Traffic Control.
For more resources on speed management, seehttps://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/speedmgt.