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.





Recent survey data highlights importance of work zone safety, ATSSA training
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/ Categories: ATSSA, Roadway, Transportation

Recent survey data highlights importance of work zone safety, ATSSA training

A recent survey showed that 54% of highway contractors in the United States reported vehicles crashing into their work zones in the past year. That same survey also showed that 48% of those reported work zone crashes involved a vehicle driver or passenger being injured, and 24% resulted in a fatality.

The survey showed that highway work zone crashes were also dangerous for roadway workers in particular, with 25% of the incidents injuring workers, and 3% involving a worker fatality. This, as well as the most recent data from the Fatality Analysis Report System – which states that 35,526 work zone injuries and 700 work zone fatalities took place in 2015 – call for renewed emphasis on improving work zone safety.

To help prepare for and prevent work zone crashes, ATSSA is committed to training roadway workers on how to properly set up and operate in work zones. ATSSA Master Instructor Juan M. Morales shared how ATSSA’s national certification program provides practical training for flaggers and roadway workers, to ensure they have a traffic control plan, and the knowledge to properly set up a work zone to account for those potential work zone intrusions.

“We can minimize the severity of work zone crashes by anticipating them and designing the work zone accordingly, so the design of the work zone ‘forgives’ that mistake, either giving the driver time to correct that mistake, or to prevent serious injuries or fatalities. If those concepts get implemented out in the field, that saves lives,” said Morales.

ATSSA has been the recipient of the Work Zone Safety Grant from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration to train roadway workers in 2006, 2011, 2013, and 2017, and Morales believes ATSSA’s training has been instrumental in keeping roadway workers and drivers safe in work zones.

Tim Luttrell, another ATSSA training instructor, shared his thoughts on work zone crashes and the need for roadway workers to receive comprehensive training.

“We know the importance of protective devices and features in work zones – they are used for the safety of workers and all road users. ATSSA’s training courses provide practical information on these topics, along with resources that specify how and when to use positive protection…the topics covered in ATSSA’s courses have a positive impact on safety,” said Luttrell.

Learn more about ATSSA training at

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