FHWA Proven Safety Countermeasures

Recommendations from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to reduce crashes and traffic fatalities in urban areas.

Designing and building safe, efficient roads in densely populated urban areas is an ongoing challenge for city planners and traffic engineers. As populations continue to grow, it’s more important than ever to design complete streets that are safe for all, particularly vulnerable road users. The FHWA promotes these proven countermeasures to improve traffic safety, calm traffic, provide safe spaces for pedestrians and cyclists, and reduce crashes — all toward the goal of eliminating fatalities on urban roads.

  • Road safety audit icon.
  • Road Safety Audit

    A road safety audit should be performed at the beginning of any road project to evaluate the safety of the designs, identify safety issues and find opportunities to implement proven safety countermeasures. ​

  • Product Links:

    Sign management software

  • Bicycle lanes icon.
  • Bicycle Lanes

    Recommendations for state and local agencies to consider installing bicycle lanes on new and existing roads to help provide safety and comfort to bicyclists.

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  • Variable Speed Limits

    Speed control is one of the best methods to help reduce fatalities and serious injuries. Urban centers are starting to implement lower local speed limits to help reduce accidents—and more and more research is showing that lower speed limits alone can lead to declines in crashes.¹


    1. Hu, W. and J. Cicchino (2019). Lowering the speed limit from 30 to 25 mph in Boston: effects on vehicle speeds. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


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  • Cross Walk Visibility Enhancement

    Increasing crosswalk visibility has been shown to increase safety. High visibility crosswalk markings, improved lighting and signage all work together to help enhance crosswalk safety.