Instructions:

Select the appropriate characteristic that best describes the location of the first harmful event.

Definition:

The location of the first harmful event as it relates to its position within or outside the trafficway.

Rationale:

This element is important for identifying highway geometric deficiencies.

CodeAttributeDefinitionExample
1RoadwayThe part of a trafficway designed, improved, and ordinarily used for motor vehicle travel or, where various classes of motor vehicles are segregated, the part of a trafficway used by a particular class. Separate roadways may be provided for northbound and southbound traffic (as well as eastbound and westbound) or for trucks and automobiles. Bridle paths and bicycle paths are not included in this definition.
2MedianAn area of trafficway between parallel roads separating travel in opposite directions. A median should be four or more feet wide. A median can be depressed, raised, or flush with the travel way surface. A median if flush or painted without a barrier must be four or more feet wide.
3RoadsideThe outermost part of the trafficway from the property line to another boundary, in toward the edge of the first road.
4Shoulder-PavedA paved part of a trafficway sharing a common border with the roadway for emergency use, for accommodation of stopped motor vehicles, and for lateral support of the roadway structure.
5Shoulder-UnpavedAn unpaved part of a trafficway sharing a common border with the roadway for emergency use, for accommodation of stopped motor vehicles, and for lateral support of the roadway structure.
6Shoulder-Travel LaneA trafficway shoulder used for travel during portions of the day as a congestion relief strategy.
7Outside RoadwayNot physically located on any landway open to the public as a matter of right or custom for moving persons or property from one place to another.
99UnknownIf this attribute is used, an explanation in the narrative is recommended.

FAQ

What is the difference between the ‘roadside’ and the ‘shoulder’?

The ‘shoulder’ is the area immediately adjacent to the roadway, which may or may not be present. The ‘roadside’ is the area beyond that.

Accuracy Checks

  • If First Harmful Event indicates collision with a ‘barrier’, ‘curb’, ‘ditch’, ’embankment’, ‘guardrail’, ‘traffic control device’, or ‘utility pole’ ‘light pole or other post/support’, then First Harmful Event Location should not be ‘roadway’.

Data Quality Audit Results

Report TypeAcceptableInconsistentInvalidEmpty
Local Police (electronic)33693.9%113.1%20.6%92.5%
Local Police (paper)33292.0%164.4%41.1%92.5%
State Police (electronic)31694.6%123.6%61.8%
Total98493.4%393.7%60.6%242.3%

The First Harmful Event Location field was completed appropriately for 93 percent of the reports reviewed. Of the portion that was considered unacceptable, almost 4 percent had issues with consistency, and slightly more than 2 percent had an empty field. Among the different police agency types and reporting methods (paper vs. electronic), the variation was minimal. Auditors representing law enforcement commented on confusion regarding the difference between roadway and roadside, and suggested further clarification on this distinction. In general, the inconsistencies were due to contradictory information in the narrative. There were no appreciable differences in findings since the previous 2005 audit.