This paper describes the concept of using state space boundaries to evaluate the safety effects of longitudinal collision avoidance systems from data produced in field operational tests. The boundaries are represented in terms of the relative range and range rate between a lead vehicle and the vehicle hosting the collision avoidance system. Phase plane diagrams are used to illustrate the state space boundaries. Parameters of curves representing the boundaries were selected such that the boundaries would be fairly well distributed over the range vs. range-rate space with the ones closer to the horizontal axis (range = 0) being indicative of a relatively higher hazard potential. The application of these state space boundaries is examined with data available from a recently completed field operational test sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.