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Safety Impacts of Pavement Edge Drop-offs


“This report, and the preceding study, The Elimination or Mitigation of Hazards Associated with Pavement Edge Drop-offs During Roadway Resurfacing, by J. B. Humphreys and J. A. Parham, published in 1994, was initiated and primarily funded by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS) to reduce the injuries and loss of life annually occurring on our nation’s roadways. It contains, in Chapter 6, research initiated and funded by FHWA in support of the nation’s goals to improve traffic safety. This joint report is an important addition to the knowledge base necessary to quantify the safety and economic benefits derived from implementing a portion of the AASHTO Highway Strategic Plan – namely a reduction in crashes precipitated by pavement edge drop-offs.

The Chapters include:

  • Introduction
  • Existing National Guidance
  • State and Provincial Practice and Guidelines for Collection, Prevention, and Maintenance of Edge Drop-off
  • Sampling of Pavement Edge Drop-off in two States
  • Relationship Between Edge Drop-off and Road Characteristics
  • Frequency and Characteristics of Pavement Edge Drop-off Crashes
  • Relationship of Crashes to Roadway and Edge Drop-off Characteristics
  • Drop-off Educational Message
  • Conclusions and Recommendations