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Intersection Safety

Aerial view of an intersection

Intersections are planned points of conflict in any roadway system.  This includes U.S. and state highways, county roads and local streets.  Motorized and non-motorized users are crossing paths as they travel through or turn from one route to another.  Therefore, it is not surprising that a major part of addressing road safety challenges involves intersections. In the United States, over the last several years an average of 21% of the fatalities and roughly 50% of the serious injuries have been attributed to intersections. Intersections can also become very congested when traffic volumes are high, creating inefficiency that results in user delay and frustration.

Strategies to address intersection safety are diverse.  Many strategies are engineering based, including geometric design and application of traffic control devices (such as signs, markings and signals).  Equally important strategies involve education and enforcement.  Quite often, it is a combination of these strategies that is needed to truly solve a problem.

Intersection safety is a national, state and local priority. As a result, organizations such as the FHWA, NHTSA, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the American Automobile Association (AAA), and other private and public organizations continue to develop and deploy resources designed to help make intersections safer, and to save lives as a result.

Page last modified on September 4, 2014.
Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
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