Design roadway environments to mitigate human mistakes and account for injury tolerances, to encourage safer behaviors, and to facilitate safe travel by the most vulnerable users.
Roadway design strongly influences how people use roadways. The environment around the roadway system—including land use and the intersections of highways, roads, and streets with other transportation modes such as rail and transit—also shapes the safety risks borne by the traveling public.
U.S. DOT has advanced an initiative to develop a growing collection of Proven Safety Countermeasures that offers effective strategies to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on our Nation’s roadways.
Transportation agencies are strongly encouraged to consider widespread implementation of countermeasures to accelerate the achievement of local, State, Tribal, and National safety goals. These strategies are designed for all road users and all types of roads—from rural to urban, from high-volume freeways to less traveled two-lane State and county roads, from signalized crossings to horizontal curves, and everything in between.
Proven Safety Countermeasures
The Proven Safety Countermeasures initiative is a collection of countermeasures and strategies effective in reducing roadway fatalities and serious injuries on our Nation’s highways.
Four sample countermeasures improve pedestrian, cyclist, and rural roadway safety:
Crosswalk Visibility Enhancements
Crosswalk visibility enhancements—lighting, signing and pavement markings, and high-visibility crosswalks—can greatly reduce pedestrian crashes.
Medians and Pedestrian Refuge Islands
Medians and pedestrian refuge islands can reduce pedestrian crashes by about 50 percent.
Separated bicycle lanes can reduce crashes up to 49 percent on certain four-lane roads as well as local roads.
Rumble strips can reduce head-on fatal and injury crashes by as much as 64 percent on the center line of two-lane rural roads.
Redundancy Is Critical
The Safe System Approach emphasizes that redundancy is critical, and safer roadways mean incorporating design elements that offer layers of protection to prevent crashes from occurring and mitigate harm when they do occur.
Through the NRSS, the Department will focus on advancing infrastructure design and interventions that will significantly enhance roadway safety.