PacTrans: Safety Evaluation of Statewide Off-Highway Vehicle Use in Alaska

AIDC project number:


Nathan Belz



  • Start Date: Dec 15, 2016
  • End Date: Jan 31, 2018

Project Documents

Project Final Report

Project Summary

Standard measures of risk and conflict, as well as design guidelines for off-highway vehicle users near the traveled way (e.g., all-terrain vehicles, dog sleds, and snow machines) are not well established from a rural safety perspective. There is a need for statewide assessment of conflicts between these users and traditional roadway users. This should include: crash history review, main corridors of travel, and identification of both safety and usage thresholds that would merit the consideration of how to minimize conflicts for certain rural highway characteristics. These methods and outcomes will quantify concerns and lack of data for non-urban areas such as road/trail crossings, or authorized travel at bridges. The State of Alaska currently has a Department policy to not prohibit their travel within the off-pavement area, but does not currently design or address crossings or other conflicts when users approach the vehicle space/traveled way. Further, a recent ATV-related fatality in Akiachak, discussions on safety concerns surrounding ATV/OHV use and policies in Wasilla, Bethel and Kotzebue, and requests for DOT&PF to address conflicts in Rural Native Alaska communities off the main road network make this very timely research. Before DOT&PF can effectively address safety concerns, a statewide review of the data and types of conflicts occurring on highways needs to be conducted. This research will allow better data to be collected, digested, and presented on these modes and the safety concerns of users to address the transportation needs of the rural and small-urban areas of Alaska.