Toolbox of Countermeasures for Rural Two-Lane Curves

Hallmark, Shauna
Hawkins, Neal
Smadi, Omar
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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that 58 percent of roadway fatalities are lane departures, while 40 percent of fatalities are single-vehicle run-off-road (SVROR) crashes. Addressing lane-departure crashes is therefore a priority for national, state, and local roadway agencies. Horizontal curves are of particular interest because they have been correlated with increased crash occurrence. This toolbox was developed to assist agencies address crashes at rural curves. The main objective of this toolbox is to summarize the effectiveness of various known curve countermeasures. While education, enforcement, and policy countermeasures should also be considered, they were not included given the toolbox focuses on roadway-based countermeasures. Furthermore, the toolbox is geared toward rural two-lane curves. The research team identified countermeasures based on their own research, through a survey of the literature, and through discussions with other professionals. Coverage of curve countermeasures in this toolbox is not necessarily comprehensive. For each countermeasure covered, this toolbox includes the following information: description, application, effectiveness, advantages, and disadvantages. Countermeasures covered are as follows: speed signs, chevrons, widening/adding paved shoulders, reflective barriers, high-friction treatments, raised pavement markers, edge lines, transverse pavement markings, vertical delineation, rumble strips, rumble stripes, on-pavement curve signing, flashing beacons, dynamic curve warning systems, and pavement inset lights.


Part of the "Synthesis of Safety-Related Research" website. For other related research, please visit:

Countermeasures, Highway curves, Highway traffic control, Paved shoulders, Ran off road crashes, Rural highways, Single vehicle crashes, Surface treating, Traffic control devices, Two lane highways