Cost Effective Safety Engineering Countermeasures Help Reduce Lane Departure Crashes
Many fatal and serious injury crashes in Northeast Florida are the result of lane departures. A series of proven safety countermeasures cards has been created for use by the FDOT District 2 Traffic Safety Team and its communities to help explain safety treatments and strategies that prevent lane departures on our local roadways, proven by FHWA to be effective. Click on the 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 their lane. Efforts to reduce serious injuries and fatalities resulting from lane departures include keeping vehicles from leaving the road or crossing the center median, reducing the likelihood of vehicles overturning or crashing into roadside objects, and minimizing 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 warning signs such as chevrons alert drivers to the severity of curvature and operating speed on curves. High friction surface treatment (HFST) compensates at curves where 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 elements embedded in pavement that cause vibration and sound) to alert drivers if they are leaving the travel lane. These have proven to 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 by redirecting and slowing vehicles and protecting them from obstacles such as opposing traffic, rigid fixed objects, bodies of water, or steep slopes.
4. Clear Zone – Clear Zones and Widening Shoulders
Clear zones are areas free of rigid, fixed objects such as trees and light poles that provide 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.
SafetyEdgeSM is a paving technique that prevents tire-scrubbing, which often can result in rollovers and run-off-road and head-on crashes by allowing vehicles to safely return to the travel lane. It also improves durability and reduces pavement edge drop-off.