USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation
FHWA Highway Safety Programs

General Information

Photo: Roadway EquipmentSafetyEdge℠  is a simple and effective solution to mitigate pavement edge-related crashes. When installed properly, simply consolidating the edge of the pavement to 30-degree shape during the paving process can eliminate the problem of vertical edge drop-off. Research has shown this shape "provides a transition from on-roadway surface to shoulder and back so smooth it defies assignment of any degree of severity…"

Key benefits of the SafetyEdge℠ technology include:

  1. Its ability to saves lives by allowing vehicles to safely return to the travel lane and mitigate pavement edge drop-off.
  2. An improvement can be seen in pavement durability by reducing edge raveling.
  3. Its cost is low, which is attributed to the addition of typically less than 1 percent of the project's total asphalt quantity.

The SafetyEdge℠  provides a strong, durable transition for vehicles to return to the paved road smoothly and easily. Its shape ensures that tire scrubbing will not occur when the pavement edge is exposed. SafetyEdge℠  can be added to both asphalt and concrete pavement projects.

The graphic below illustrates how a traditional pavement edge compares with the SafetyEdge℠ when newly installed and over time with typical wear and erosion.

Photo: Roadway Equipment

FHWA strongly encourages implementation of SafetyEdge℠ given its extreme effectiveness in addressing edge drop-off related roadway departure crashes, simplicity in installation, and low cost. A small investment in training and implementing SafetyEdge℠ has the potential to return great safety benefits.

FHWA brought open houses and demonstration projects to agencies to introduce the purpose and need for the SafetyEdge℠, the practical solution the SafetyEdge℠ provides, the features and benefits, and to answer questions and discuss the advantages of the SafetyEdge℠. Visit the Demonstrations webpage to learn about opportunities and resources.

The brochures and flyer below detail how agencies can implement SafetyEdge℠ and answer common questions related to the treatment.

  • SafetyEdge℠ 101 Brochure. This brochure briefly introduces the concept of SafetyEdge℠, how it works, FAQs, and a Case Study of Iowa DOT adopting SafetyEdge℠ as standard practice across the State.
  • SafetyEdgeSM 201 Brochure. This brochure details the need for SafetyEdge℠ and answers some common questions and queries regarding SafetyEdge℠ and its implementation.
  • Steps to Implementing the SafetyEdge℠ . This document provides guidance to agencies on deployment strategies, and developing and initiating an implementation plan according to specific needs.
  • Comparison of SafetyEdge℠to Conventional Paving. This document shows the difference in performance over time when paving with the SafetyEdge℠ compared to conventional paving without the SafetyEdge℠.