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Have a Road with a Crash Problem? Consider a Road Diet.


Not all crashes are created equal. Drivers, pedestrians and even roadways are all responsible for creating dangerous situations for other road users.

One of the most notorious roadways with a high crash rate is the four-lane undivided highway that forces left-turning vehicles to slow down while actively in a through lane and cross dual lanes of oncoming traffic.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has analyzed a roadway reconfiguration known as the Road Diet to increase safety at these traditional four-lane undivided highways.

What is a Road Diet?

A Road Diet is a reconfiguration of a traditional four-lane undivided highway that converts into three lanes – two through lanes and a center, two-way left turn lane.

According to the FWHA, implementing a Road Diet will reduce crash rates 19 to 47 percent, improve mobility and better integrate the roadway into the surrounding area, enhancing quality of life.

Example of a road diet before and after

Why have a Road Diet?

As urban areas continue to promote programs for increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic, enhanced complete streets and livable spaces, Road Diets provide a low-cost solution to increase safety and better accommodate today’s vexing traffic problems.

Along with crash reduction, additional benefits of Road Diets include:

  • Reduced roadway speeding
  • Reduced aggressive driving behaviors
  • Improved safety at pedestrian crossings
  • Improved safety for bicyclists on roadways
  • Increased bicycle usage

For additional information on Road Diets, check out these FHWA case studies, this informational guide and the below video.

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