Lane Departure Countermeasures

Cost Effective Safety Engineering Countermeasures Help Reduce Lane Departure Crashes 

Many fatal and serious injury crashes in Northeast Florida are a result of lane departures. We have created an educational series of proven safety countermeasures for FDOT District Two Traffic Safety Team members and communities.

These informational pieces can be used to help explain the safety treatments and strategies to prevent lane departures on our local roadways. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has based these proven measures on effectiveness and benefits. Click on the five educational Lane Departure Countermeasure cards below to download and share.

Lane departure crashes include: running off the road, crossing the center median into an oncoming lane of traffic, and sideswipe crashes. Running off the road may also involve a rollover or hitting a fixed object. One of the most severe types of crashes occurs when a vehicle crosses into an opposing traffic lane and crashes head on with an oncoming vehicle. 

A driver who is speeding, distracted, drowsy, or impaired is likely to have difficulty staying in the lane. To reduce the serious injuries and fatalities resulting from lane departures, efforts must be made to: keep vehicles from leaving the road or crossing the center median, reduce the likelihood of vehicles overturning or crashing into roadside objects, and minimize the severity of an overturn.

View and print this PDF document by the FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program of lane departure countermeasures used in Northeast Florida.

Five Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Preventing Roadway Departures:

1. Curves – Enhanced Delineation (Curve Signs) and Increased Pavement Friction 

Advance curve warning signs alert drivers of the severity of the curvature and operating speed, and chevron signs are installed along the curve. High friction surface treatment (HFST) compensates at curves where the available pavement friction is not adequate to support operating speeds. These countermeasure treatments are effective to reduce curve, nighttime and wet road crashes. 

2. Rumbles – Center Line, Edge Line and Shoulder Rumble Strips and Stripes 

Rumble strips are milled elements in the pavement. The vibration (and resulting sound) alerts drivers if they are leaving the travel lane. These rumbles are proven to help reduce roadway departure crashes caused by inattentive, distracted, or drowsy drivers who drift from their lane. 

3. Barriers – Roadside and Median Barrier Terminals and Crash Cushions 

Guardrail barriers help reduce crash severity. They are designed to redirect and slow vehicles while protecting them from obstacles, like opposing traffic, rigid fixed objects, bodies of water, or steep slopes. 

4. Clear Zone – Clear Zones and Widening Shoulders Provide for a Safe Recovery 

Clear zone areas are free of rigid, fixed objects such as trees and light poles. Establishing and maintaining a clear zone provides an unobstructed, traversable area beyond the edge of the road. Widening shoulders allows drivers more recovery time to regain control in the event of a roadway departure. 

5. SafetyEdgeSMSafetyEdgeSM Technology Shapes Edge of Pavement at 30 Degrees 

SafetyEdgeSM is a low cost countermeasure that prevents tire-scrubbing which often results in rollovers, run-off-road and head-on crashes, and allows vehicles to safely return to the travel lane. This paving technique also improves durability and reduces pavement edge drop-off. 

Engineering Concerns

We are asking all FDOT District Two Traffic Safety Team members for help in reporting traffic safety and engineering concerns.

One of the most important functions of our Traffic Safety Team is the identification of problems on our local roadways. You and your colleagues are the experienced “eyes” we need on our local roads.

As a Traffic Safety Team member, we value your insight and knowledge of your community’s traffic safety issues. Some of the safety issues identified include: signs, pavement markings, signals and areas that may benefit from increased enforcement.

You and anyone within your organization may submit a traffic safety engineering concern through our Roadway Concerns online form and include detailed location information, issue descriptions, photos and area maps.

Read: How to Submit Better Engineering Concerns presentation. Bringing the 4E’s of safety together: Engineering, Education, Emergency Medical Services and Enforcement.

Watch: Communicating Community Traffic Safety Concerns + Virtual Volunteer Challenge

Together we can solve roadway issues, reduce crashes and help prevent serious injuries and fatalities. If you see a roadway safety issue in any of our 18 Northeast Florida Counties, please submit online through the Roadway Concerns form.

Additional Team Member Resources and Virtual Volunteer Information available online.

Virtual Volunteer

Be a Community Traffic Safety Team “Virtual Volunteer” – It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

traffic safety virtual volunteer

A few minutes of your time to share important traffic safety reminders could help save a life.

  • Step 1. Like and follow us on social media.
  • Step 2. Share and repost traffic safety tips.
  • Step 3. Invite others in your network to like and follow too.
  • Repeat.

Connect with the Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Team on social media!

Volunteering without being physically present is not new. For years, volunteers have been off-site and have used the telephone, fax and postal mail to communicate. However, the revolution in information technology has opened up many new possibilities for volunteering and giving back to your community.

Even prior to the COVID-19 healthcare crisis and social distancing, there has been an increase in working from home. Virtual volunteering is a wonderful way to take advantage of contributing volunteer work over the internet. Social media has opened the door to expand the reach of our traffic safety tips and campaigns.

Benefits of being a Traffic Safety Team Virtual Volunteer:

  • Increase community awareness.
  • Minimal investment of your time.
  • Flexible to your schedule with no time constraints.
  • Easy and feels good to send positive messages.
  • Help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on your local roadways.
traffic safety virtual volunteer thank you
Thank you for your time and consideration!

Defensive Driving

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program presents: Three Defensive Driving Tools to Avoid Impact, by Jeff Hohlstein, a Traffic Safety Team member in Clay County, Florida. From 2009 through 2016 Jeff was a Traffic Cycling Instructor certified by multiple organizations. There he learned a lot about vehicles’ next actions without looking at the driver. He also adopted OODA, a quick decision-making tool originally developed for combat by Retired Colonel John “Forty-Second” Boyd, USAF. The OODA Loop is easily adopted to defensive driving, to help you see and avoid conflicts before they become crashes.

Learn about the OODA Loop: Observe • Orient • Decide • Act and other defensive driving tips to help reduce crashes on our roadways in this educational traffic safety video.

Downloadable version of the video as a PDF presentation file for viewing and sharing:

Read the complete article, “Three Defensive Driving Tools to Avoid Great Impact” below:

safe driver

Jeff Hohlstein

What do OODA, Three Mississippi’s, and a vehicle’s front wheels have in common? They can all be defensive driving tools that will alert and prepare you for potential conflict situations and avoid a crash.

In another year or so, I’ll enter that age range of 78–85, when most people decide to quit driving. Over the years, I’ve learned some tools that I hope will allow me to drive safely far beyond that range. I’m not a certified driving instructor, so I’ll describe the tools and how I use them. How you choose to use them is up to you.

The OODA Loop: See and avoid trouble

So what’s an OODA? The OODA Loop is a rapid decision-making tool developed by Retired Colonel John Boyd, USAF. In combat, OODA is used to totally confuse and demoralize the enemy. In defensive driving, OODA is a disciplined way of thinking that helps one see and avoid trouble. OODA stands for Observe > Orient > Decide > Act, and then do it again.

It sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? But then there’s a joke—Two crows were sitting in a tree above a corn field. Crow One said, “Let’s fly down and eat some corn.” Crow Two, “We can’t. There’s a man standing in the field.” Crow One, “That’s a scarecrow. If it was a man, he’d be looking at his cell phone.”

How many times do we see people who aren’t even observing? And, as we age, we need a conscious, disciplined decision-making tool to drive safely. OODA can be that tool. Let’s start with an easy example.

Three Mississippi’s: Three second rule Continue Reading