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FHWA Highway Safety Programs

4.0 Options for Additional Activities

Looking forward from implementing the particular treatment at one site, there are a number of additional actions the agency could take. Staff could:

Regression to the Mean

On an annual basis, the number of crashes at a site will fluctuate up and down. Over time, if nothing changed at the site (e.g., traffic volume, surrounding land use, weather, driver demographics), the frequency of crashes at the site would converge on an average crash frequency. This is called regression to the mean. Regression to the mean is the tendency for a site to experience a period with a comparatively high crash frequency followed by a period with comparatively low crash frequency.

  • Arrange for maintenance staff to review curves throughout the community (including night reviews) as part of other activities (e.g., vegetation control, pavement management). For those curves that have comparable conditions to the site studied in this scenario, staff could develop a list for enhanced signage and plan funding to implement the signs, when possible. Step 2 of the Toolkit has resources for this activity.
  • Collect and summarize crash data for all horizontal curves in the community and begin a more quantitative process for identifying curves with potential safety treatment needs where the countermeasures outlined in this study could be applicable as well. The Toolkit provides a description of the systemic analysis.
  • Contact the stakeholders that were concerned about the treatment and gauge their interest in developing and participating in a community traffic safety committee. This committee could study traffic safety in the community, and identify potential solutions and activities to encourage safer travel in the community.
  • Collaborate with police enforcement in the community to enhance speed enforcement in the vicinity of horizontal curves as a strategy for managing speeds and driver behavior in the community.