Pavement Marking

Pavement Marking

Pavement Marking

In a report developed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), it was recommended that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) establish plans to “better manage” initiatives and efforts related to Connected Automated Vehicles (CAVs). GAO officials state within the report, which was released in November 2017, that their reasoning behind the research efforts are based on the potential promise of CAVs to provide transformative safety and mobility benefits, but these benefits also will come with a set of safety and infrastructure challenges for policymakers.


While it also was noted that other components such as urban versus rural settings and local ownership of roadways will play a hand in infrastructure adaptations, many experts in automation and infrastructure back up the report’s claims, and assert that consistent and proper maintenance of the current roadway system is of the upmost importance for conventional and AV motorists — especially when it comes to pavement markings.


ATSSA has a dedicated group of members on its Pavement Marking Committee (member login required), who are working to assert the proper maintenance of pavement marking and advance technologies being developed to help increase safety benefits and accommodation of CAVs. The committee has developed a list of policies and continues to work toward advancing the collaboration between the roadway safety industry and automakers as America progresses toward an automated future.

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Congressman saved by median barrier in Tennessee after roadway departure crash
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Congressman saved by median barrier in Tennessee after roadway departure crash

There are many data points about how guardrail and median barrier save lives on our roadways. Studies show that median and roadside guardrails have been proven as highly effective countermeasures to roadway departure (RwD) crashes.

There are also countless stories from people whose lives have been saved by a median cable barrier or roadside guardrail like Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr., whose life was positively impacted by the lifesaving presence of a median barrier during a serious crash in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Oct. 23, 2009.

Duncan had just returned home to Knoxville, Tennessee from Washington, D.C., on a clear October mid-afternoon. Driving in moderately heavy traffic in the left lane of the Pellissippi Parkway (I-140) the congressman glanced down to adjust his radio. In the moment he took his eyes off the road, a pick-up truck directly in front of him nearly came to a full stop.

In an attempt to avoid a collision, Duncan jerked his wheel. He lost control of his vehicle and went across traffic from the left lane into the emergency lane. His car spun back across the northbound travel lanes, slamming into a concrete median and bouncing back out into traffic, again crossing all three northbound travel lanes. The congressman’s vehicle finally came to a stop in the emergency lane on the right shoulder.

“I still can’t believe that I wasn’t hit or that I didn’t hit somebody else in all that heavy traffic. It is just miraculous,” Duncan said.

The median barrier kept Congressman Duncan’s car from spinning into the oncoming lanes of traffic - preventing a crossover head-on collision.

Duncan’s story is one of many of those who were saved on our nation’s roadways, thanks to guardrail and median barrier. For more information and to read more stories like Duncan’s, visit GuardrailsSaveLives.ATSSA.com, and like, comment, and share your own stories using the hashtag #GuardrailsSaveLives.

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