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FHWA Home / Safety / FoRRRwD

Focus on Reducing Rural Roadway Departures

Focus on Reducing Rural Roadway Departures

» All Public Roads

» Systemic Approach

» Proven Countermeasures

» Safety Action Plans

» Additional Resources

Why Focus on Reducing Rural Roadway Departures (FoRRRwD)?

Roadway departures (aka lane departures) on the rural road network account for one-third of traffic fatalities. Systemic application of proven roadway departure countermeasures, such as rumble strips, friction treatments, and clear zones, helps keep vehicles in their travel lanes, reduce the potential for crashes, and reduce the severity of those crashes that do occur.

This initiative encourages agencies to address lane departures on all public roads.

Rural RwD Deaths

Chart: Rural RwD: 11,674 Deaths (34%), Urban & Other Rural areas comprise 66%.

Rural RwD Crash Types

Chart: Rollovers 3,609 (30%), Head-on 3,354 (28%), Trees 2,312 (19%), Other (23%).

Source: NHTSA FARS 2014-2016

30 people will die today from rural roadway departure crashes.

A collection of photos of 30 different people.

Let's save the people behind the numbers.

FoRRRwD is supported by four pillars

The pillars work together to help solve this problem in your area. Click on the links below to learn more.


Roadway departure crashes are a major problem on all public rural roads. More than 40 percent of them happen off State networks.

Read more about All Public Roads »


There are many flexible cost-effective countermeasures that are proven to reduce these crashes.

Read more about the Countermeasures »


A fundamental challenge on rural roads is that roadway departure crash locations are random and change from year to year.

Read more about the Systemic Approach »


Documenting the systemic analysis into a simple safety action plan is a powerful way to prioritize safety improvements.

Read more about the Safety Action Plans »

Page last modified on June 30, 2020
Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
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