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 and practitioners to better understand the impact of friction demand on roadway safety, including the correct selection and implementation of High Friction Surface Treatment to improve safety at high-risk locations. Council members also aim to provide the latest information related to High Friction Surface Treatment that will be the most helpful in the ongoing effort to create safer roadways for the travelling public.
FHWA HFST Links
High Friction Surface Treatments
Continuous Pavement Friction Measurement (CPFM)
Stats and Facts
Pavement Friction Data
American Traffic Safety Services Association represents the roadway safety infrastructure industry with effective legislative advocacy, traffic control safety training and a far-reaching member partnership.