Intersection Countermeasures

Cost Effective Safety Engineering Countermeasures Help Reduce Intersection Crashes 

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program in Northeast Florida continues the educational series of proven safety countermeasures. These five informational pieces help explain intersection countermeasures. The traffic safety strategies and treatments of roadway markings and traffic lights at intersections reduce serious injury and fatal crashes. They are based on proven measures of effectiveness by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Click on the five educational Intersection Countermeasure cards below to download a copy. They may be printed or shared digitally through email or social media with our Northeast Florida Traffic Safety Teams, communities and agencies.

Motorists and other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, cross paths at intersections. This is where the greatest potential for roadway conflicts exist. Turning, changing lanes and traveling through intersections are among the most complex in the transportation system. They require appropriate roadway design, signage, traffic control devices, lighting, and other safety measures. Innovative safety improvements and operations at signalized and unsignalized intersections can help enhance everyone’s safety.

Click here for a PDF document of these intersection countermeasures used in Northeast Florida, provided by the FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program.

Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Reducing Intersection Crashes:

1. Roundabouts Reduce Severe Crashes

Roundabouts are a circular intersection that feature channelized approaches and a center island that safely and efficiently moves traffic. Motorists entering the roundabout yield to vehicles already circulating which leads to improved operational performance. Roundabouts are an effective countermeasure resulting in lower speeds and fewer conflict points.

2. Backplates with Retroreflective Borders

Backplates are a low cost countermeasure being introduced in Northeast Florida on traffic signal heads to improve visibility of the illuminated face. The dark backplate provides a controlled-contrast background. The framing with a retroreflective border makes the signal easily seen in both daytime and nighttime conditions. This treatment enhances visibility for aging motorists and color vision deficient drivers, and is also beneficial during power outages or inclement weather, providing a visible cue for all motorists.

3. Left and Right Turn Lanes at Intersections Reduce Severe Crashes

Left or right auxiliary turn lanes provide measurable safety and operational benefits at intersections, reducing the number of crashes. Turn lanes give a physical separation between slower turning traffic and the free flowing main route of traffic. They provide space for deceleration prior to a turn and storage for vehicles that have stopped and are waiting to complete a turn.

4. Well-Timed Yellow Change Intervals Reduce Red-Light Running 

Red-light running is a leading cause of severe crashes at signalized intersections, and it is critical that the length of time a yellow signal is displayed following a green signal is appropriately timed. If the yellow light changes too quickly, motorists may be unable to stop safely and cause unintentional red-light running. If the yellow light changes too slowly, this may result in drivers treating the yellow signal as an extension of the green phase and invite intentional red-light running.

5. Benefits of the Flashing Yellow Arrow Left Turn Signal

Fewer crashes and better traffic flow are benefits of the flashing yellow left turn arrows as an effective engineering countermeasure. The updated design of left turn signals with a flashing yellow arrow creates a safer, more efficient left turn at intersections. When the flashing yellow arrow is illuminated, drivers must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians, then they may proceed to turn with caution. This new signal system presents motorists with a more direct message and reduces confusion by replacing the green ball with the yellow and green left turn arrows so the display is not the same as the adjacent thru lane. 

Traffic Safety Wise Words

The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) launched the Wise Words safety campaign in 2018 with team member Walt Duffany’s Walt’s Wise Words. Walt began working with the District Two Community Traffic Safety Team when he was FDOT Lake City shop supervisor. He retired from FDOT in 2015 and now serves as Deputy Reservist Coordinator for Columbia County Fire Rescue as a volunteer. Walt and his family moved to Florida from Watertown, New York, in 1986, where he worked for the Town of Adams highway department. He is also a Navy veteran and spent time in Vietnam. Thank you, Walt, for all of your clever safety messages and for your service!

When the campaign launched with Walt’s Wise Words, the graphic consisted of a car with a bumper sticker with a Wise Words slogan. It has since morphed into a campaign with colorful images, graphics and catchy phrases which are all original and created by District Two CTST team members. The traffic safety Wise Words are short, smart messages targeted to drivers and focused on a variety of topics like distracted, impaired, tailgating, turn signals, and buckling up. Additional traffic safety campaigns were created for Work Zone Awareness, Occupant Protection, Distracted Driving, Safe Distancing Driving, Stop on Red, and Impaired Driving, among others. 

Share Traffic Safety Wise Words

Be a Community Traffic Safety Team “Virtual Volunteer”. Share these Wise Words on your social media accounts. Don’t forget to tag us! 

Facebook and Instagram: @trafficsafetyteam
Twitter and Pinterest: @trafficsafetyfl 

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!