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10 New Ideas for Better Roads

Hari Kalla, a professional engineer at the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, in Washington, D.C., reveals what the best roads have that the worst roads don’t.

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Turning Lanes at Stop-Controlled Intersections
At major intersections, lanes reserved for right or left turns can dramatically reduce crashes — in some cases, by as much as 48 percent.

2 / 10

Rumble Strips and Stripes
Grooved sections loudly announce when tires veer off course. Shoulder strips lower crashes by some 20 percent on freeways.

3 / 10

Safety Edge
Paving a gradual 30-to-35 degree slope to a road’s edge helps prevent the notoriously dangerous rollovers and crashes that occur when a tire inadvertently strays over a steep edge.

4 / 10

These circular intersections cut crashes by 60 to 87 percent.

5 / 10

Different Lane Markings
These give drivers more warning if they need to turn, merge, or change lanes.

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A sidewalk or pathway can reduce pedestrian injuries by as much as 88 percent.

7 / 10

Median Barriers
Used to separate opposing traffic on divided highways, these concrete or metal barriers have a long track record of reducing cross-median collisions.

8 / 10

Solar Powered Signs
Flashing LED signs call attention to what’s important.
Larger, More Legible Signs
Easier to read and understand at highway speeds, jumbo stop signs measure four feet by four feet.

9 / 10

Longer Yellow Lights
Adding one second to yellow lights can reduce red-light violations by as much as 50 percent.

10 / 10

More time in the Cross-Walk
Pedestrians don’t get caught in the middle of a thoroughfare.
Medians and Pedestrian Refuge Areas
Creating these at pedestrian crossings lowers injuries by 46 percent.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest