Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Civil Engineering (MCE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Reginald Souleyrette


Each update to a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) can require a large amount of time, resources, and funding. From the requirements in U.S.C.148(a)(13)(E-F), in the SHSP update process states must consider the results of other transportation planning processes and develop a list of strategies to reduce or eliminate fatal and serious injury crashes (United States, 2023). To fulfill these requirements more efficiently and to gain the largest amount of benefit from said research, this thesis asks the question: how do we select other state transportation plans to study for ideas on improving our own SHSP? In this thesis, a k-means clustering method is proposed to group states based on a variety of factors. These include state demographics, roadway attributes, highway safety performance, and SHSP characteristics. Specific clusters of states can then be selected based on other states that share characteristics most like our own, or based on other states that have the best safety performance. Then, in future studies, the smaller group of states selected can be studied for successful safety improvement programs that have been implemented to gain ideas for improving our own state’s next SHSP. As a case study, the methodology and resulting conclusions are applied to Kentucky in this thesis.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This study was supported by:

  • Kentucky Transportation Cabinet,
  • Kentucky Transportation Center's Benefit Cost and Automation of the Strategic Highway Investment Formula for Tomorrow (SHIFT) Grant (PON2 605 2200002485),
  • Kentucky Transportation Center's SHIFT Improvement Tasks 2022 FY Grant (PON2 605 2000002653), and
  • Office of Highway Safety's Strategic Highway Safety Plan Update SHSP Grant (PON2 605 2400000310 PT-2024-00-00-94) in 2022 and 2023.