Drop-offs at the pavement/shoulder (or shoulder/roadside) edge have been recognized as a potential highway safety problem for many years. However, no research on the differential effects of drop-off heights and shapes is available before about 1977. Research since 1977 has demonstrated that the probability of severe consequences from a pavement/shoulder drop-off traversal are a function of drop-off height and shape and vehicle speed and reentry angle. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the state of the art on the safety of pavement-shoulder drop-offs so that practical guidelines can be developed for their treatment in the improvement of existing highways under the current resurfacing, rehabilitation, and restoration process. A critical review is presented of available studies on pavement/shoulder drop-offs for the purpose of identifying the combinations of shape and height that are tolerable for various highway design speeds.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper appears in Transportation Research Board State-of-the-Art Report No. 6, Relationship Between Safety and Key Highway Features: A Synthesis of Prior Research. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Glennon, J C
  • Publication Date: 1987

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 36-47
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00490517
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0-309-04502-9
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 31 1990 12:00AM