Roadway Safety Innovation

Innovation in the roadway safety industry

Outsiders of the transportation infrastructure industry may look to autonomous vehicles as an icon of innovation on the roadways, but for state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials, manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors in the roadway safety and infrastructure industry, innovation is not a stationary achievement. It is much more than a mile marker and not as easily defined.

With different perspectives and priorities, industry stakeholders are finding that in addition to new technologies, innovation is heavily reliant on communication between entities. Industry leaders are working together to move forward and ATSSA is no different. The association works year-round to progress and develop creative solutions for all of its initiatives including highlighting innovative products and technologies, training, and ATSSA membership.

One innovative effort ATSSA is involved in is a joint initiative with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Traffic Control Devices (AHB50). Both ATSSA and TRB sponsor and conduct an exciting design competition, the Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge, to promote innovation and stimulate ideas in the traffic control devices area with a goal to improve operations and safety.

Find recent updates on the latest innovations in the resource list below and be sure to check back for updates.

Exhibit at ATSSA's Annual Traffic Expo


Do you have an innovative roadway safety product? Exhibitors can showcase their innovations in the New Products Rollout at the Annual Convention & Traffic Expo. Products released after Jan. 1 of this year qualify for entry. Twenty will be accepted for the New Product Listing and just 12 will be accepted for presentation to a panel of judges. The top three products will earn an Innovation Award that will be announced during the Convention.

Learn more
about featuring your innovative product to key industry professionals. View videos of last year's entries and award winners.


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/ Categories: ATSSA, Roadway

Guardrail saves Missouri woman’s life in icy conditions

The roadway safety and infrastructure industry continues to advance and adapt to the introduction of new technologies and devices. Both roadway users and the transportation community recognize that guardrail save lives every day on our roads. Roadway safety infrastructure can mean the difference between life and death when crashes happen, and guardrail are an important part of that infrastructure.

If installed correctly, guardrail reduces fatalities and serious-injuries caused by roadway departure (RwD) crashes by 16 to 47 percent. Median barriers are extremely effective in reducing cross-median crashes with a 52 percent reduction in all fatal crashes and a 61 percent reduction in all serious-injury crashes.

Additionally, there are a number of stories of individuals who were saved from crashes by either a guardrail or a cable barrier at the crash location—individuals like Kristina Bernskoetter of Columbia, Missouri, whose life was saved by median cable barrier on Dec. 25, 2005.

Bernskoetter was traveling on I-70 near Columbia, Missouri, when her vehicle hit a patch of ice, slid out of control and entered the median, sliding rapidly toward oncoming traffic. Her vehicle was ‘snagged’ by the median steel cable barrier, which cushioned the blow and prevented her from sliding into the oncoming lanes of traffic.

“I remember thinking, ‘I’m going to cross into the other lanes,’ because I didn’t even notice the guard cables. I said a quick prayer, closed my eyes and hit - but I was safe,” Bernskoetter said.

Bernskoetter left the scene of the accident uninjured.

Stories like Bernskoetter’s are prime examples of how guardrail saves lives every day on our nation’s roadways. For more information and stories like Bernskoetter’s, visit Share your stories and the message that guardrails save lives on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn with the hashtag #GuardrailsSaveLives.

Bernskoetter’s vehicle in the median on I-70. Photo courtesy of Mo.-DOT .

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