High Friction Surface Treatment

High Friction Surface Treatment


Crashes on the nation’s roadways continue to be one of the leading causes of fatalities and major injuries in the United States, particularly in rural areas. Roughly half of all fatal crashes occur at intersections or on horizontal curves. In horizontal curve crashes, it is often the case that the vehicle speed and curve geometry create a “friction demand” higher than what can be achieved with standard pavement surfaces. Intersection crashes often occur when driver error creates an unexpected need for increased friction demand to serve as a “speed countermeasure.”



One low cost approach that has been shown to be effective in addressing high “friction demand” locations is the installation of a High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST). High Friction Surface Treatments are pavement surface treatments that are composed of extremely hard, polish- and abrasion-resistant aggregates bonded to the pavement surface that greatly enhance the skid resistance and frictional characteristics of a road surface. HFSTs address three speed-related crash conditions: low friction, marginal friction (further reduced by weather), and friction values not compatible with approach speeds and geometrics.



ATSSA's High Friction Surface Treatment Council (member login required) works to assist policymakers so they can better understand the impact of friction demand on roadway safety and the role that high friction surfacing can play to improve safety at high-risk locations. Council members also aim to provide the latest information related to high friction surface treatments that will be the most helpful in the ongoing effort to create a safer driving environment for all motorists.


Report 17-01 on Friction Aggregates

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The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has special provision 12SP-800A-03 for HFST, and it specifies the use of calcined bauxite. MDOT's special provision 12SP712B-01 for thin epoxy polymer bridge deck overlay specifies aggregate properties and includes a list of six approved suppliers.

Part 2. Volume 7, Section 5 (HD 37/99) Overview

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Experience over the last 30 years in the UK has shown these surfacings to be highly effective in reducing traffic accidents on sites with high traffic density and skidding risk. Typical sites are the approaches to signal
controlled junctions, to roundabouts and pedestrian crossings subject to a heavy flow of vehicles. For the length of high friction surfacing necessary, reference should be made to Table 3.1 HD 36 (DMRB 7.5.1) and accompanying notes.