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FHWA Home / Safety / Intersection / Safety at Signalized Intersections (Short Version)

Safety at Signalized Intersections (Short Version)

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Collage of photos including different signal head types and a signal equipment box.

FHWA logo and FHWA Office of Safety Logo: Safe Roads for a Safer Future, Investment in roadway safety saves lives.


speaker notes:

This is an approximately 30-minute presentation on the topic of red-light running (RLR). Topics covered include:

Please note that the long version of this presentation goes into much more detail about individual countermeasures and the associated crash reduction factors.


slide 2

FHWA Safety Focus Areas

Slide depicts the four FHWA safety focus areas: intersections, pedestrians, roadway departure, and speeding.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:

FHWA has identified these 4 primary focus areas for improving safety and reducing crashes. This presentation will look exclusively at safety issues related to SIGNALIZED INTERSECTIONS.

Fatalities attributed to the four primary focus areas:


slide 3

Nationwide Fatalities

There were 41,059 highway fatalities in 2007. Where did they occur?

About half of all crashes and half of all injury crashes occur at intersections.

Pie chart indicates 79 percent of fatalities occurred at non-intersections and 21 percent occurred at intersections.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:

This slide represents the most recent published crash data in the FARS database. Includes only FARS elements of "intersection" and "intersection-related" fatalities.


slide 4

Intersection Fatalities

There were 8,657 intersection fatalities in 2007. Where did they occur?

Graphics indicate that 39 percent of intersection fatalities occurred in rural areas, and 61 percent occurred in urban areas. Further, 5,232 fatalities occurred on arterials, 1,472 occurred on collectors, 1,739 occurred on local roads, and 214 occurred in unidentified locations.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:

Looking at just intersection fatalities in general, we see that well over 1/2 occur in urban areas and the majority occur on arterial facilities. 60% of intersection fatalities occur on arterial streets.

Source: FARS database


slide 5

Traffic Signals

There are at least 3 million intersections in the United States.

At least 300,000 are signalized.

Photo of a post-mounted traffic signal head with a black backplate.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:

These are very gross estimates. There is no nation-wide inventory of traffic signals. The point to make is that roughly 10% (but likely even less) of the intersections in the United States are signalized.




slide 6

Intersection Fatalities

Graph shows that 2,755 fatalities occurred at signalized intersections, 5,539 fatalities occurred at unsignalized intersections, and 363 occurred at other or unknown locations.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:

Other notes:


slide 7

Intersection Safety Guidance

Collage of images showing the front pages of the referenced documents.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:


slide 8

Typical Signalized Intersection Crash Types

Two photos, both of crashes at signalized intersections with first responders on the scene.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:


slide 9

Crash Reduction Factors

Image of the cover of an FHWA document entitled 'Toolbox of Countermeasures and their Potential Effectiveness to Make Intersections Safer.'

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:


slide 10

Angle Crashes

Collage of photos including a diagram depicting a 90 degree crash between two vehicles trying to cross an intersection simultaneously, an urban intersection, a roundabout, a signal enforcement camera, and an intersection with poor sight distances.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:

Potential countermeasures:


slide 11

Rear End Crashes

Collage of images, including a diagram of a rear-end collision, a road sign warning of a signal ahead, a large intersection with a signal head for each lane, an intersection with clear lines of sight, and an oversized signal head.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:

Potential countermeasures:


slide 12

Left Turn Crashes

Collage of images, including a diagram of a left turning car impacting a vehicle traveling straight through an intersection, a sign next to a signal head indicating restricted left turn hours, an offset left turn lane, and a permissive/protected left turn signal at an intersection.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:

Potential countermeasures:


slide 13

Sideswipe Crashes

Two images, one a diagram of two vehicles on opposite approaches attempting to turn left and colliding in a sideswipe type collision. The second image is an aerial photo of an intersection where dashed lines curve out and to the left  from dual left turn lanes, crossing through the intersection proper to guide left turning vehicles. Dashed lines also guide vehicles traveling straight across the intersection to the opposite side.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:

Potential countermeasures:


slide 14

Pedestrian/Bicycle Crashes

Collage of images, including a diagram of a left turning vehicle impacting a pedestrian, a photo of a wheelchair-bound pedestrian waiting for the walk signal at a mid-block crosswalk, a photo of a dedicated bike lane set off by dashed lines that parallels the roadway and crosses an intersection like a crosswalk, and a photo of a countdown signal head.

speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:

Potential countermeasures:


slide 15

For More Information

NCHRP Report 500 Series Volume 12
http://safety.transportation.org/

Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/

Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/04091/

FHWA Office of Safety
http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/


speaker notes:

Major Points to Make:

Page last modified on September 4, 2014.
Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000