Wednesday, October 10, 2018

FHWA is helping to put the brakes on fatalities with proven safety countermeasures

Brandye Hendrickson
By Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Brandye Hendrickson

At the Federal Highway Administration, a priority is for Kansans to have safe roads. Together with the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and others, we are committed to eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways. This is no small feat, especially when you consider that more than 37,000 lives are lost on U.S. roads each year.

At FHWA, we believe these deaths are not only unacceptable. They are preventable.

One way FHWA is working to get us to zero deaths is by assisting states and localities to employ proven safety countermeasures. After years of testing and research, we now have 20 countermeasures/strategies that can be used to address issues related to roadway departure, intersection and pedestrian and bicycle crashes, including local road safety plans and rumble strips that can be used in Kansas and other parts of the country.

We all have a role to play in making sure our friends, neighbors and loved ones get to their destination safely in Kansas and elsewhere, which is why FHWA works closely with KDOT and others. We also coordinate with our counterparts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration to develop and implement effective safety programs.

But we also need the help of the traveling public. The safest highway in the world is of little use when drivers are drinking and then getting behind the wheel or texting while driving. The same applies to pedestrians who are distracted while walking, or bicyclists who ignore the rules of the road.

Proven safety countermeasures used by KDOT and other state DOTs can and will continue to make a difference in the years ahead and we’re committed to making them a staple of safety programs across the country. With these techniques, and the help of conscientious drivers, we can put the brakes on fatalities.


  1. Thank you Brandye for sharing priority issues and efforts the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is making to have safe roads in order to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in Kansas and also on all American roads and highways.
    When the Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day was created in 2001 there were over 42,000 fatalities occurring each year. The FHWA needs to be congratulated for the efforts made in recent years to help create the 20 counter measures/strategies that and are being used to reduce crashes and fatalities on our nation's roadways. A reduction to 37,000 lives lost each year, as you noted is still too many and reducing the number further will require continuous efforts to improve roadways, vehicles and most importantly all drivers who need to always be attentive, slow down and drive sober. Thanks again for all your efforts to promote safety to reduce crashes and strive towards zero fatalities.

    Larry Emig

  2. Brandye, Thank you for your support. In Kansas, we have deployed many of the proven countermeasures and it has made a difference. However, there is much more that can be done to more fully utilize these measures. We will continue to work with KDOT and locals to get as much safety benefit as possible for the traveling public.