Mike Salmon (703) 383-2055
Jan. 31, 2008
VDOT REDUCES CRASHES WITH LOW COST, HIGH IMPACT SIGNAGE
In late 2006 and early 2007, VDOT installed signs and pavement markings at right-turn lanes on Route 1 and Route 50 that changed motorists’ behaviors and promoted safer turns.
After striping was modified on Route 1 at the entrance to Gunston Plaza, the number of crashes dropped 74 percent over a one-year period — 20 crashes fewer than the year before.
On Route 50, at a similar turn lane west of Annandale Road, the number of crashes dropped from 14 to only two, an 86 percent reduction, over an eight-month period.
VDOT targeted these portions of Route 1 and Route 50 for safety improvements because high crash rates were observed on these roadways.
Over the past two years, engineers analyzed traffic patterns to find the causes of crashes and implement solutions.
The new turn lane markings were among the improvements put in place. They interrupt right-turn lanes that had been long enough for traffic to bypass several intersections at high speed.
The safety studies showed that high-speed right-turning traffic was frequently involved in crashes when other lanes were congested.
“It’s really striking to see the results. This is a good example of a major safety improvement at very modest cost,” said Hari Sripathi, regional traffic engineer.
VDOT is currently looking at other areas to implement similar measures.
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