A united effort by state and federal agencies to save more lives.

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
444 N Capitol St NW
Suite 249
Washington DC, 20001


Governors Highway Safety Association

Federal Highway Administration

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Transportation Research Board of The National Academies

National Cooperative Highway Research Program

Implementation Guides

« Back to Implementation Guides

Volume 20: A Guide for Reducing Head-On Crashes on Freeways

Freeways: Severe, head-on crashes and deaths are increasing

The Problem

Head-on crashes on interstates and other freeways and expressways make up a relatively small proportion of total fatalities, although they tend to be extremely severe. With higher traffic volumes traveling at high speeds, and narrow medians without barriers, median crossover head-on crashes are occurring with increasing frequency and deadly results.

In 2003 there were 366 fatal cross-media crashes on U.S. freeways, 8 percent of all freeway fatal crashes. And fatalities have been on the rise, too, numbering 680 in 2002. Data show that 56 percent of these type crashes occur on urban interstates and freeways.

There is no predominant cause of freeway head-on crashes. They occur at all times, days, and seasons on curves and straight sections.

The objectives of this guide and the related strategies focus on reducing the potential for cross-over crashes.

Objectives

  • Keep vehicles from departing the traveled way
  • Minimize the likelihood of head-on crashes with oncoming vehicles
  • Reduce the severity of median barrier crashes that occur
  • Enhance enforcement and awareness of traffic regulations

Download this guide: Coming Soon

Head-On
Collisions
On Freeways

Driver behavior clearly is important, including everything from fatigue, inattention and medical emergencies to excessive speeding, erratic maneuvers, and improper lane changes.

Download the guide in PDF

View the Guide and Appendices in HTML

Order a printed copy

Recent Publications

Head-On Collisions on Freeways One-Pager

Self Assessment Tool

Integrated Safety Management Process