The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) called for advancing the capabilities of States for safety data collection, integration, and analysis to support data-driven decision-making in program planning and performance management
(including safety performance management). MAP-21 acknowledged the importance of using multiple data sources to understand highway safety performance and to make effective decisions regarding resource allocation for highway safety. To do this, State safety data systems should be sufficient to guide the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) processes, including analyses and evaluations identified in MAP-21 and continued in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The FAST Act also extended the requirements to address data needed on unpaved roads.
FHWA provided guidance on the capabilities a State's safety data system should have in order to support analyses and evaluations in the Transportation reauthorization bills, including: (1) types of roadways, (2) types of data, (3) geolocating safety data to a common highway basemap, (4) analysis and evaluation capabilities, and (5) the Fundamental Data Elements (FDE) of the Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE).
States’ safety data are a confederation of various data sources from across multiple business units in a DOT and across multiple agencies outside of the DOT. Crash, roadway, and traffic data (the three core safety data sources) should be linkable by geolocation (i.e., a unique location identifier on a highway base map). States should establish data standards so that the location of crashes, roadway elements, and traffic data are consistent with the most current basemap.