Between periods of maintenance, pavement-edge drop-offs can form along the edge of highways. When a driver runs off the roadway, such drop-offs can hinder reentry and may lead to driver overcorrection, loss of control, or overturning on the roadway or roadside. The safety edge is a treatment that is implemented in conjunction with pavement resurfacing and is intended to help minimize drop-off-related crashes.
This report examines the safety effects, costs, and benefits of this low-cost treatment for two-lane and multilane rural highways. The safety research was conducted as an observational before-after evaluation of treated sites using the empirical Bayes method. The economic appraisal consisted of a benefit-cost analysis.