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Roadside Safety



This workshop provides an overview of safety treatments and countermeasures that can be used to help reduce the frequency and severity of roadway departure crashes. One low-cost strategy is to use various treatments (signing, delineation, rumble strips, and surface friction) to help keep vehicles on the roadway. For those vehicles leaving the traveled way, it is important to reduce the potential for a crash, i.e. allow the vehicle to recover without overturning or striking fixed objects. Techniques for improving shoulders, slopes, and ditches are reviewed. Removing, relocating or redesigning features such as trees, utility poles, and drainage structures in the clear zone are also addressed. Enhancing mailbox safety is also covered. The session includes discussion of minimizing the severity of roadway departure crashes through the use of breakaway supports and shielding obstacles. The essentials of barrier design, installation, and inspection are reviewed. The session concludes with case study exercises where participants apply what they learned to address actual roadway locations.


Upon completion of this course, attendees should be able to:

  • Describe the roadway departure crash problem

  • Recognize roadside hazards

  • Describe and compare the conventional and systemic safety approaches for deploying countermeasures

  • Identify and discuss countermeasures to:

  • Reduce potential for leaving the roadway

  • Reduce potential for a crash if vehicle leaves the roadway

  • Minimize severity if a crash does occur


This workshop should be of interest to state, county, and municipal transportation, traffic and safety engineers, technicians, maintenance personnel, road supervisors, public works directors, and planners involved in roadway safety. Designers (engineers and landscape architects) should also find the workshop of interest.

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