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FHWA Highway Safety Programs

Safe System Intersections

"Example of a safe intersection design showing bikes and pedestrians crossing a street"
Source: Jay Lazarin, Editorial RF, iStock Unreleased

Transportation practitioners can use a Safe System approach to enhance intersection safety for all road users. Taking a Safe System approach means proactively designing the roadway or intersection features in a way that anticipates human errors and reduces risk of severe injury or death due to a crash. A Safe System approach to intersection design can include strategies such as:

  • Minimizing and modifying conflict points
  • Reducing speed of vehicles
  • Improving visibility at intersections
  • Providing space and protection for pedestrians and bicyclists

Outreach and Education Resources

Technical Materials and Research

Connections to Other Transportation Safety Topics

  • Choosing the right intersection design for a specific location and road users is important for a Safe System; learn how Intersection Control Evaluation tools can help
  • Intersection designs such as roundabouts, or those with reduced left–turn conflicts such as restricted crossing U–turns (RCUT) and median U–turns (MUT), can help achieve a Safe System approach
  • Considering the safety and needs of pedestrians and bicyclists is key to designing an intersection using the Safe System approach