How to Get Started

Safety Analyst consists of a set of multiple independent applications (tools) that interact with a database by using a two-tier, client–server architecture. The database management system (DBMS) acts as the server, performing user authentication and data integrity functions for the deployed Safety Analyst tools. Figure 1 illustrates the relationships and flow of data between the Safety Analyst applications.
Data model

Figure 1. Safety Analyst Architecture

Safety Analyst is implemented in the Java programming language and uses the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API to support connectivity to a wide variety of DBMS vendors. This interface supports connectivity to an embedded version of the JavaDB (a.k.a. Apache Derby) that allows Safety Analyst to operate as a desktop application, providing an alternative to a client–server deployment.

Safety Analyst Tools and Types of Users

The Safety Analyst tool set consists of three primary applications as identified in Figure 1:
  • Administration (Admin) Tool - This tool is used to set up and manage the Safety Analyst deployment. It enables an agency to tailor the Safety Analyst data model and to modify the federally-supplied default data used in conducting safety analyses.
  • Data Management Tool - This tool is used to import and prepare an agency's inventory, traffic volume, and accident (crash) data for analysis. (In the current release, a separate application is provided to manage the set of countermeasures that have been applied to an agency's inventory.)
  • Analytical Tool - This tool is used to conduct safety analyses of an agency's inventory. To ensure data integrity, this client application accesses the agency data in a read-only mode.

Figure 1 also identifies two primary user roles: Administrator/Data Manager and Analyst. Administrators and data managers use the corresponding Safety Analyst Administration and Data Management tools to prepare Safety Analyst and the agency data for use by safety analysts. Administrators install Safety Analyst and configuring system attributes, collision distributions, countermeasures, and diagnostic scenarios. Data Managers configure, import, post process, and calibrate the agency's site data (segments, intersections, ramps, traffic, and accident data). Analysts use the Safety Analyst Analytical Tool to conduct safety analyses on an agency's inventory. Although there may be many analysts using the Analytical Tool, it is envisioned that there will be only a few (perhaps one) personnel serving in the Administrator/Data Management role.

Documents to Help You Get Started

The following documents provide detailed information regarding the Safety Analyst architecture and data relationships with respect to the individual applications within the Safety Analyst tool set and are good resources for users getting started with Safety AnalystSafety Analyst documentation is organized in five manuals that are oriented to specific user types and information needs.
  • Administration Tool Manual - A detailed reference describing the installation and configuration of Safety Analyst, use of the Administration Tool, and customization of Safety Analyst data and components.
  • Data Management Tool Manual - A detailed reference for using the Safety Analyst Data Management Tool for importing and transforming data into a format usable for Safety Analyst.
  • Data Import Reference - A detailed reference that describes the data that can be imported into a Safety Analyst data set database from agency-supplied ASCII import files or from agency-maintained databases using the Safety Analyst Data Management Tool.
  • Safety Analyst User's Manual - A detailed reference for using the Safety Analyst Analytical Tool. This manual provides engineering information necessary to make appropriate use of Safety Analyst evaluation capabilities and interpretation of results.
  • Implemented Countermeasure Management Tool Manual- A detailed reference for using the Safety Analyst Implemented Countermeasure Tool for importing and transforming countermeasures that have been implemented in the inventory into a format usable for Safety Analyst.