Elements of the Safety Plan
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Goal 16 - Minimizing the Consequences of Leaving the Road
One-third of all fatalities result from vehicles leaving the road and hitting some fixed object or overturning. In addition to strategies designed to reduce the number of vehicles leaving the roadway, efforts to minimize the consequences when that happens can also reduce injuries and fatalities. Leaving the roadway in rural areas is especially threatening to life and limb, as two-thirds of fatalities registered in rural settings result from this event.
In addition to keeping vehicles on the roadway, it is important that we reduce the opportunity for vehicles to overturn or strike fixed objects when they stray and minimize injuries when they crash with a fixed object.
- Strategy 16A: Provide improved practices for the selection, installation, and maintenance of upgraded roadside safety hardware
- Strategy 16B: Implement in an environmentally acceptable manner a national effort to address hazardous trees
- Strategy 16C: Implement a national policy to reduce the hazard from roadside utility poles, particularly on two-lane rural roads
Utility pole fatalities are the second leading fixed object hazard in terms of highway deaths. This initiative will translate appropriate research findings and best practices into a set of guidelines to reduce the potential for pole crashes and assist utility companies, States, and local transportation professionals in targeting the most hazardous poles for removal/relocation. The guidelines will be pilot tested, evaluated, and refined into a cost effective set of recommendations. It will be necessary to have utility companies participate in the process. Training for DOT and utility company personnel will supplement the effort to ensure effectiveness. As with tree removal, the cost to relocate poles is staggering; however, it is conservatively estimated that an appropriately funded program will yield very cost effective safety improvements to impact this problem for many years.
-- Options for Utility Contributions to Roadside Safety
-- Utility Safety Task Group
-- Proceedings of the Seventh National Highway/Utility Conference
-- Cost-Effectiveness of Countermeasures for Utility Pole Accidents
-- Highway/Utility Guide
-- Run-Off-Road Program
-- Clean Up the Roadside Environment (CURE) Team
-- Policy on the Accommodation of Utilities Within Freeway Right-of-Way
-- Guide for Accommodating Utilities Within Highway Right-of-Way
-- Safer Roadsides Through Better Utility Pole Placement, Protection, Construction
-- Improved Breakaway Utility Pole, AD-IV
-- Break-Away Timber Utility Poles
- Strategy 16D: Develop and implement guidance to improve ditches and backslopes to minimize rollover potential
- Strategy 16E: Develop and implement guidelines for safe urban streetscape design