Low Cost Treatments for Horizontal Curve Safety

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Technical Documentation Page

1. Report No. FHWA-SA-07-002 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient’s Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle: Low-Cost Treatments for Horizontal Curve Safety 5. Report Date: December 2006
6. Performing Organization Code.
7. Author(s): McGee, Hugh W. and Hanscom, Fred R. 8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address:

Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc (VHB)
8300 Boone Blvd., Ste. 700
Vienna, VA 22182-2626

Transportation Research Corporation
11671 Audubon Trail
Markham, VA 22643
10. Work Unit No.
11. Contract or Grant No. DTFH61-05-D-00024
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address:
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety
400 Seventh Street, SW, HSSD
Washington, DC 20590
13. Type of Report and Period Covered: September 2005- December 2006
14. Sponsoring Agency Code. FHWA/HSSD
15. Supplementary Notes:
Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative: Larry J. Brown

Contracting Officer’s Task Order Manager: Debra Chappell

Technical editing was performed Vicki Glenn and production was performed by Michelle Scism, both from VHB.
16. Abstract: Nearly 25 percent of fatal crashes occur at or near a horizontal curve. Hence, addressing the safety problem at horizontal curves is one of the 22 emphasis areas of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan prepared by AASHTO. Also, crashes at horizontal curves are a big component of the road departure crash problem, which is one of FHWA’s three focus areas. This publication was prepared to provide practical information on low-cost treatments that can be applied at horizontal curves to address identified or potential safety problems. The publication concisely describes the treatment; shows examples; suggests when the treatment might be applicable; provides design features; and where available, provides information on the potential safety effectiveness and costs. The treatments include:
  • Basic traffic signs and markings found in the MUTCD
  • Enhanced traffic control devices
  • Additional traffic control devices not found in the MUTCD
  • Rumble strips
  • Minor roadway improvements
  • Innovative and experimental treatments
The publication concludes with a description of maintenance activities that should be conducted to keep the treatments effective.
17. Key Words: Horizontal curve, safety treatments, traffic control devices, pavement skid resistance, shoulders, rumble strips 18. Distribution Statement: No restrictions.
19. Security Classif. (of this report): Unclassified 20. Security Classif. (of this page): Unclassified 21. No. of Pages: 60 22. Price:

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