Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference Papers‘SAFETY EDGE’ for Improved Road Safety and Pavement Performance

‘SAFETY EDGE’ for Improved Road Safety and Pavement Performance


Developed through the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – Every Day Counts initiative,
Safety Edge is one of five technologies promoted for use throughout the U.S. DOT’s. The Safety Edge is a low-cost technology constructed during the asphalt paving operation by shaping the pavement edge to a 30 degree slope. This simple adjustment to the construction of the asphalt edge has been documented to reduce the number of vehicle crashes by allowing drivers to safely recover should they drift off of the paved surface. Although effective for all rural types of roadway, the use of a Safety Edge is particularly found to be useful on rural two lane roadways.
In 2012, the Region of Halton conducted an In-Service Road Safety Review for a 2.8 km section of
20 Sideroad (Reg. Rd. 34). Scheduled to be resurfaced in 2014, this 2-lane rural road operates at a posted speed limit of 60km/hr, and generally comprise of 3.65m wide lanes, with very narrow to no shoulders. Within the review limits, the roadway contains two intersections and two S-curves. The general pavement surface at the time of the investigation was considered to be in poor to fair condition, primarily on account of extensive pavement edge cracking. In addition to the notable road conditions, the review also observed that vehicles often travelled at higher than posted speeds, with loss of control related collisions overrepresented, even with weather factors being omitted.
During the detailed design of this section of roadway, a number of road improvement alternatives were considered that would improve both the pavement performance of the roadway, as well as driver safety. The results of this investigation recommended that the many benefits of constructing a Safety Edge would address both concerns. The primary focus of this paper will be to describe how the construction of a Safety Edge on 20 Sideroad will not only improve the future performance of the new pavement edge, but also improve the overall safety of the roadway by permitting drivers to recover should they steer off of the pavement surface. 

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Infrastructure Safety Measures
Lau, R.
Popik, M.
Road safety