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General Information

Photo: Roadway Equipment

SafetyEdge℠  is a simple and effective solution to mitigate pavement edge-related crashes. When installed properly, simply consolidating the edge of the pavement to 30-degree shape during the paving process can eliminate the problem of vertical edge drop-off. Research has shown this shape "provides a transition from on-roadway surface to shoulder and back so smooth it defies assignment of any degree of severity…"

Key benefits of the SafetyEdge℠ technology include:

  1. Its ability to saves lives by allowing vehicles to safely return to the travel lane and mitigate pavement edge drop-off.
  2. An improvement can be seen in pavement durability by reducing edge raveling.
  3. Its cost is low, which is attributed to the addition of typically less than 1 percent of the project's total asphalt quantity.

The SafetyEdge℠  provides a strong, durable transition for vehicles to return to the paved road smoothly and easily. Its shape ensures that tire scrubbing will not occur when the pavement edge is exposed. SafetyEdge℠  can be added to both asphalt and concrete pavement projects.

The graphic below illustrates how a traditional pavement edge compares with the SafetyEdge℠ when newly installed and over time with typical wear and erosion.

Image: Edge Comparisons- Traditional pavement Edge, Newly constructed traditional pavement edge (top left); Traditional pavement edge over time (top right); Safety Edge<sup>SM</sup>, Newly constructed Safety Edge<sup>sm</sup> (bottom left); Safety Edge<sup>sm</sup>over time (bottom right)

FHWA strongly encourages implementation of SafetyEdge℠ given its extreme effectiveness in addressing edge drop-off related roadway departure crashes, simplicity in installation, and low cost. A small investment in training and implementing SafetyEdge℠ has the potential to return great safety benefits.

FHWA brought open houses and demonstration projects to agencies to introduce the purpose and need for the SafetyEdge℠, the practical solution the SafetyEdge℠ provides, the features and benefits, and to answer questions and discuss the advantages of the SafetyEdge℠. Visit the Demonstrations webpage to learn about opportunities and resources.

The brochures and flyer below detail how agencies can implement SafetyEdge℠ and answer common questions related to the treatment.

Page last modified on August 29, 2017
Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
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