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Tuesday, 26th September 2006

Safety Impacts of Pavement Edge Drop-offs

Safety Impacts of Pavement Edge Drop-offs (PDF; 2.69 MB)
Source: AAA Foundation
From press release:

Pavement edge drop-off related crashes are substantially more likely than other crashes on similar roadways to result in serious injuries, and are more than twice as likely to be fatal, according to a recent study sponsored by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Characterized by a shoulder that is lower than the edge of the paved road surface, pavement edge drop-off can be caused by pavement breaking, erosion and wear of unpaved shoulders, inadequate maintenance, or resurfacing projects that neglect to keep shoulders level with the paved road surface. Although they can occur on any roadway, they are more common on rural two-lane roads with narrow lanes and shoulders. A driver may be forced off the road or drive off the road for any number of reasons and pavement edge drop-off, especially if 2 inches or deeper, can increase the risk of a crash and make it difficult for a driver to return to the road safely.


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