After identifying locations of interest for safety improvement, NCDOT implements projects to improve the roadway and reduce crashes. Depending on the type of crashes that have been occurring, safety improvements might consist of signs, road markings, traffic signals, road design, or a combination of any of those.
Specific Location Improvements
NCDOT often uses low cost improvement projects that can be implemented quickly to correct safety problems at a specific intersection or section of road. Project locations are selected on a benefit-to-cost basis that considers the following:
- Number of correctable crashes
- Severity of crashes, delays, and traffic congestion
- Number of criteria met for traffic signal installation
- Effect on vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and bicyclists
- Proximity to schools
- Priorities of the NCDOT division and regional leadership
- Public interest
In addition to improving locations where a noticeable pattern of crashes has occurred, NCDOT also uses a systemic approach to identify locations that have characteristics associated with higher levels of risk for specific kinds of crashes.
This proactive method seeks to address potentially hazardous sites before crashes occur. Systemic improvements typically involve countermeasures that can be installed at a large number of locations for relatively low cost.
Using this approach, NCDOT has installed countermeasures such as long-life pavement markings, guardrails, wide edge lines, and enhanced curve warning signs.
Evaluating Results of Safety Improvements
The Traffic Safety Unit looks at the effectiveness of safety improvements, often called countermeasures, once they are completed, typically by measuring the effect on reducing crashes. Evaluations are intended to provide objective countermeasure crash reduction results to NCDOT and the broader transportation safety community.
This provides a measurable result on the benefit (or possibly the lack of benefit) of certain countermeasures in order to inform future projects.
Examples of past safety evaluations include:
The Safety Evaluation Group publishes the results of each evaluation. Visit the Safety Evaluations page on NCDOT Connect for a listing of each project evaluation as well as summary reports on many different countermeasures.