Safety on 21st Century Highways

by Richard D. Powers, Federal Highway Administration, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering 21st Century Highways

Abstract: Consistently high geometric design standards, adequate pavement skid resistance, drainage and markings, and appropriate signing, delineation and lighting all reduce the potential for driver error and constitute the highway engineers first line of defense against accidents and injuries. However, once a vehicle leaves the travelled portion of the roadway and encroaches onto the roadside the motorist's chances of becoming involved in an accident are significantly increased. This paper summarizes the many improvements made to the roadside to reduce the potential for serious injury to a motorist who runs off the roadway and identifies areas where even greater gains can be realized as today's knowledge is applied to tomorrow's highways. It is significant to note that a highway built and opened to traffic today will, in fact, be a 21st century highway.

Subject Headings: Traffic accidents | Traffic signs | Pavement design | Load and resistance factor design | Pavement markings

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