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Safety Article May 01, 2015
When 3M wanted to test a pavement-marking system that could make it easier for drivers to find their way through work zones in dark, rainy weather, the company turned to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Highways for LIFE Technology Partnerships Program.   Wet road conditions can make it...
Safety Article May 01, 2015
Priorities for the design of roadways have shifted over the years—from a primary emphasis on increasing capacity to considering the purpose of streets and roads in the context of specific settings (often referred to as context-sensitive design). A technique that has gained popularity in recent...
Safety Article May 01, 2015
Those white and yellow lines on the roadway delineate lanes and orient and guide roadway users, enhancing traffic efficiency, reducing conflict and making navigating easier and more comfortable for travelers.   Most importantly, by helping roadway users navigate properly, those lines help reduce...
Safety Article May 01, 2015
Nontangent roadway sections present a unique challenge for pavements.   The pavement surface must satisfy the necessary friction demand to ensure safety and driver comfort based on the geometry (grade, radius of curvature and superelevation) and anticipated speed of vehicles navigating the curve....
Safety Article May 01, 2015
To help states evaluate their work-zone practices, and to help assess work-zone practices nationally, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed the Work Zone Mobility and Safety Self Assessment (WZ SA) tool.   The WZ SA tool consists of a set of 46 questions designed to assist those with...
Safety Article May 01, 2015
Who would have imagined five years ago that cell phones and texting would become so deadly?   As an avid motorcyclist, I can attest that literally every “close encounter” I have with a four-wheeler features a distracted driver either talking on a cell phone or texting. As bad as it is on the open...
Safety Article May 01, 2015
Two-way left-turn lanes (TWLTLs) and raised medians are the two most common types of median treatments.   A TWLTL is a continuous lane between opposing lanes of traffic to allow traffic to make left turns from both directions, and a raised median is a physical barrier that separates opposing lanes...
Safety Article May 01, 2015
At the heart of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) is the notion of getting information about the transportation network to those who need it in a timely, efficient manner.   Better-informed drivers make smarter, safer traveling decisions. Traffic-management personnel—if armed with better...
Safety Article May 01, 2015
When a lane is closed on a two-lane, two-way roadway, flaggers are typically used to control the flow of traffic through the work zone.   While various measures have been implemented in recent years to improve the safety and effectiveness of flaggers, crashes involving flaggers still occur and...
Safety Article May 01, 2015
Intersection crashes continue to represent a significant share of transportation fatalities and serious injuries throughout the country.   There were more than $2.2 million in crashes at or related to intersections in 2009, according to the motor vehicle crash data from FARS and GES. Of those...
Safety Article May 01, 2015
The current federal transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), was signed into law on July 6, 2012.   MAP-21 legislation demonstrates that Congress recognized the great strides made by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy...
Safety Article May 01, 2015
A March meeting of transportation officials and transportation-industry members in Crystal City, Va., began to lay the groundwork for a new movement in digital asset data collection.   This effort is designed at systematizing the process of network asset data collection and 3-D virtual design while...
Safety Article May 01, 2015
As Washington, D.C., plunged into summer last year, Congress came together and passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, better known as MAP-21.   It was a bumpy road to get there, but the final vote for passage in both chambers was overwhelmingly bipartisan. Although the law...
Safety Article April 28, 2015
Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the first stop-sign installation.   Not surprisingly, this innovation was developed and installed in Detroit. It was a rather simple device—the word STOP written in black on a white metal background. Over the next century a system of uniform rules, road-...
Safety Article April 28, 2015
Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are being increasingly deployed in work zones to improve traffic operations and safety.   Also known as smart work-zone systems, these deployments provide real-time information to travelers, monitor traffic conditions and manage incidents. Despite numerous...
Safety Article April 28, 2015
It is just before 6 a.m. when you are awakened by the phone. Annoyed that someone would call you at such an early hour, you answer thinking, “what could be so important?”   Your world begins to spin when you learn your spouse has been killed by a motorist while working on a nearby roadway.  ...
Safety Article April 28, 2015
The most critical aspect of signal design and timing at an intersection is the development of an appropriate phase plan, which is mainly driven by left-turn treatments.   Accommodating and addressing left-turning vehicles is challenging for traffic engineers as they seek balance between...
Safety Article April 28, 2015
Rural, two-way-stop controlled intersections present a significant challenge for traffic safety.   For the 10-year period of 2002 to 2011 in Minnesota, 43% of all intersection crashes occurred at unsignalized intersections. However, for this same period, 65% of fatal and serious-injury intersection...
Safety Article April 28, 2015
As early as the 1920s highway agencies across the country started developing guidelines for uniform traffic signs. During that time—and pretty much ever since—the conventional thinking concerning nighttime visibility has been brighter is better.   That is because nighttime sign visibility has been...
Safety Article April 28, 2015
About an hour south of our nation’s capital, the historic former battlegrounds of Fredericksburg, Va., serve as the backdrop for the headquarters of a one-of-a-kind international roadway safety trade organization—the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA).   This assertive group of...

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