Based on statewide crash data, 38 percent of fatalities and 21 percent of series injuries throughout Delaware involved a roadway departure crash, half of which occurred on a horizontal curve. Additionally, wet, snowy, and/or icy pavement accounts for 22 percent of roadway departure fatalities and series injuries. With this information, DelDOT sprang into action to make its roadways safer for travelers.
DelDOT decided to utilize high friction surface treatment (HFST), a pavement application that quickly reduces crashes at horizontal curves or where we road surfaces reduce pavement friction. Through DelDOT’s Systemic Safety Improvement Plan (SSIP), locations for this treatment were identified. DelDOT reviewed the rate of roadway departure crashes at each site and screened each to determine how HFST might help in those areas. After all the research, DelDOT installed almost 40,000 square yards of the treatment at about 30 locations at a project cost of $2.5 million. Preliminary data for the first 23 locations shows that roadway departure crashes decreased at 83 percent of locations by an overall average of 56 percent. This means that drivers are much safer on DelDOT’s roadways and can have some peace of mind in winter/wet weather.