U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
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FHWA's Office of Safety Design developed a Roadway Departure (RwD) Strategic Plan to provide a common vision for research, policy, and implementation to address RwD crashes.
Each year roadway departure (RwD) crashes account for more than half of the highway fatalities in the United States. FHWA defines a RwD crash as: A crash in which a vehicle crosses an edge line, a center line, or otherwise leaves the traveled way. Three Emphasis Areas account for more than 70 percent* of all RwD fatal crashes: overturns, opposing direction, and trees/shrubs.
Agencies must reduce the number and severity of RwD crashes, specifically those associated with the 3 major Emphasis Areas, to achieve the vision of Toward Zero Deaths. Each State's Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) can provide direction for reducing RwD related crashes in order to meet their goals. Turn the page to see FHWA's recommended strategies and actions associated with reducing the 3 most common RwD fatal and serious injury crashes.
* Source: FARS 2010-2012 (most harmful event)
Opposite Direction Crashes
Roadside Trees and Shrub Crashes
|30% of fatal RwD crashes include an overturn.||23% of fatal RwD crashes involve crossing a center line or median. These crashes are over represented by the risk factors shown below.||19% of fatal RwD crashes involve trees or shrubs on the roadside with the leading risk factors shown in the figure below.|
* NCHRP Report 500, Vol. 4
Safety Design Team Leader
Resource Center, Safety and Design Team