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FHWA Home / Safety / Roadway Departure Safety

Roadway Departure Safety

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Roadway Departure Safety Program provides important information for transportation practitioners, decision makers, and others to assist in preventing and reducing these severe crashes. A roadway departure crash is defined as a crash which occurs after a vehicle crosses an edge line or a center line, or otherwise leaves the traveled way. From 2013 to 2015 an average of 18,275 fatalities resulted from roadway departure, which is 54 percent of all the traffic fatalities in the United States.

To effectively prevent RwD crashes and fatalities, FHWA's RwD efforts are guided by the RwD Strategic Approach & Plan that involves implementing countermeasures that address RwD crashes that fall into three main categories, including those that: 1) Keep Vehicles on Roadway, 2) Provide for Safe Recovery, and 3) Reduce Crash Severity.

Click on the graphic below to learn more about FHWA's Strategic Approach to Roadway Departures or the countermeasures within each category.

Strategic Approach & Plan Keep Vehicles on Roadway Icon  Reduce Crash Severity Icon Icon: Provide for Safe Recovery Strategic Approach & Plan icon

Page last modified on April 3, 2017
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Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000