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.