Road Safety Manual
A manual for practitioners and decision makers
on implementing safe system infrastructure!

Welcome to this PIARC (World Road Association) Guide

The new Road Safety Manual (RSM) is designed to help countries at every stage of infrastructure development to fulfill road safety objectives.

It is aligned with key pillars for the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020:

  • Pillar 1: Road Safety Management;
  • Pillar 2: Safer Roads and Mobility;
  • Pillar 4: Safer Road Users.

This comprehensive resource builds on the broad range of knowledge and experience provided by PIARC in the first edition. It includes new thinking on road safety and offers a clear argument on why adopting a Safe System approach is crucial for your country.

The Safe System approach aims for a more forgiving road system that takes human fallibility and vulnerability into account. Under the Safe System approach, everyone (public agencies, automobile manufacturers, road users, enforcement officials, and others) must share the responsibility for road safety outcomes.

Update October 2019

The third edition of PIARC RSM is now available. It provides updates to each of the chapters by incorporating new information and details.

  • Newly released PIARC publications are highlighted throughout by providing RSM user weblinks to each of them:
  1. Land use and safety: an introduction to understanding how land use decisions impact safety of the transportation system
  2. Human factors guidelines for a safer man-road interface
  3. Vulnerable road users: Diagnosis of design and operational safety problems and potential countermeasures
  4. The Role of Road Engineering in Combatting Driver Distraction and Fatigue Road Safety Risks
  • Over 40 new case studies are added to a web library and are linked throughout the RSM chapters by providing a summary and associated link to each of the case studies.
    Placed in multiple chapters and different sections, the case studies are provided to show the reader implementations of safe systems practices worldwide.
    Case studies come from Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and many more.

The French version of the RSM is also available now!
The Spanish version will follow.

The manual is split into three parts and can be downloaded in chapters.

Key principles for each of the topics are included and discussed in the sections, with case studies and links to detailed technical material and other references.

Structure of the Road Safety Manual


Part I introduces the wide range of problems facing road safety professionals around the world and looks at the strategic issues involved in developing a management system.

Part II presents strategies for delivering targeted improvements and detailed guidance on how to plan, design, prioritize, implement, and manage these interventions within a country’s road network .

Part III demonstrates the safety impacts and value created by adopting the global strategies.

Each chapter can be printed and downloaded in PDF format by clicking on buttons available at the beggining of each web page.

if this is your first visit

This manual provides several feathures to allow you to navigate more easily through its pages.
Search tool : if you type a term in the window situated next to the menu "Tools" and if you click then on the magnifying glass, all the locations where this term exists will automatically be listed. You will just have then to click on the choosen title to be automatically redirected towards this page. You can refine your search by clicking on the small white triangle which appears next to the search window (Typology, Chapters of the Manual, Date of publication).
Printing : if you click on the red icon PDF available in every main pages of chapter, you can dowload them in PDF's version.
Return at the top of page : click the white arrow in the right edge of the page.
Acronyms : acronyms are underlined by a blue intermittent line. If you maintain your pointer above, the meaning of this acronym will appear in a pop up.
Subscribe : if you wish to be warned of every modification of  the Manual or to have access to additional media materials, you just have to click on "Subscribe" in the window "Stay informed!" at the top of the homepage or at the bottom of all other pages.
An opinion or a comment : if you wish to contact the persons in charge of the Manual for an opinion or a comment, you just have to click on "Give us your feedback !" in the window situated at the bottom of the home page and then to complete the form.
Contact PIARC : if you wish to send a message to the PIARC General Secretary about the Manual in general or about the technical committee "Road Safety Manual" and its products, you just have to click on "Contact us" at the very bottom of any page then to complete the form.