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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-18-048
Synopsis: In this special investigation report, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) examines pedestrian safety in the United States and recommends actions to help prevent pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The investigation, which began in 2016 with a public forum on pedestrian safety, was supported by an inquiry into the causes of 15 crashes in which vehicles fatally injured pedestrians on public highways—representing only a fraction of the nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed on US roads in 2016. The report reviews the past 10 years of data on highway deaths; describes previous NTSB investigations related to pedestrian safety, including the 15 fatal pedestrian crashes as well as studies of the effects of speed and alcohol on highway crashes; summarizes the issues raised during the public forum; and makes 11 recommendations for improving pedestrian safety. The report considers vehicle-based countermeasures, such as improved headlights, vehicle designs that reduce injuries to pedestrians, and collision avoidance systems. It also reviews infrastructure designs that make streets safer for pedestrians. The report emphasizes that better data are needed—especially on pedestrian activity (exposure data) and on the types and outcomes of crashes involving pedestrians—to improve federal, state, and local decision-making related to pedestrian safety. As a result of its special investigation, the NTSB made safety recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION: Develop standard definitions and establish methods that states and metropolitan planning organizations can use to collect pedestrian exposure data, then define a common framework that will allow those data sources to be combined into a national metric of pedestrian activity.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open Acceptable Alternate Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Washington, DC
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: DCA15SS005
Accident Reports:
Report #: SIR-18-03
Accident Date: 8/24/2015
Issue Date: 10/23/2018
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FHWA (Open Acceptable Alternate Response)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
Date: 5/6/2019
Response: We note that you developed a scalable risk assessment methodology that considers exposure data by regional geographic areas to make measurements more meaningful for metropolitan planning organizations. We are pleased that you are providing training and outreach on this new program. We further note that, as of October 2018, your national traffic count database accepts voluntary submissions of pedestrian count data. We understand that as more data is submitted, this information could eventually improve how pedestrian activity is measured. These actions represent progress toward an acceptable alternate method of addressing the intent of this recommendation. Pending expanded use of these tools and development of a sufficient pedestrian data source, Safety Recommendation H-18-48 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE RESPONSE.

From: FHWA
Date: 2/14/2019
Response: -From Brandye L. Hendrickson, Deputy Administrator: A universally accepted standard for defining and measuring national pedestrian exposure is lacking. However, FHW A recently developed a Scalable Risk Assessment Methodology to help States and metropolitan planning organizations assess exposure at smaller geographic regions (see the Guide for Scalable Risk Assessment Methods for Pedestrians and Bicyclists, and is currently providing training and outreach on the new method. Because of the diversity in roadway conditions and environs (e.g., climate, topography, land use, etc.) across the country, the validity and reliability of a national metric would pose a challenge. Local or regional exposure measures are likely more meaningful, which is why FHW A created the scalable methodology. The FHWA's Travel Monitoring Analysis System (TMAS) is a national database that receives a variety of traffic count data about motor vehicles collected by each State from automated traffic recording devices. As of late October 2018, pedestrian counts in the Traffic Monitoring Guide format can be submitted to TMAS ( If this voluntarily submitted data is sufficient and representative, it eventually could help improve how exposure is measured at a national level. Based on the actions described, we request Recommendation H-18-48 be classified as Open Acceptable Alternate Response.

From: NTSB
Date: 10/23/2018
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. On September 25, 2018, the NTSB adopted its special investigation report Pedestrian Safety, NTSB/SIR-18/03.. The details of the special investigation and the resulting safety recommendations may be found in the attached report, which can also be accessed at Among the Safety Recommendations are two issued to the Federal Highway Administration, which can be found on pages 42 and 43 of the report. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 90 days, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement this recommendation. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number. We encourage you to submit your response to If it exceeds 20 megabytes, including attachments, please e-mail us at the same address for instructions. Please do not submit both an electronic copy and a hard copy of the same response.