In the first phase of this study, characteristics of crashes on two-lane rural roads were summarized and compared to all crashes. Also, one-mile sections having high crash rates were identified. In this phase of the study, a detailed analysis was conducted for a random sample of 150 fatal crashes which occurred on a two-lane rural road. Recommendations were made for countermeasures to reduce the number and severity of crashes on this type of roadway. The potential effectiveness of these countermeasures in preventing the crashes or reducing their severity was evaluated.

Crashes were selected from the years of 1996 through 1998. The random sample represented slightly over 10 percent of all fatal crashes on two-lane rural roads. The crash report was obtained with information from the report summarized. A site visit was made to each crash location with data obtained and analyzed.

Data from each crash were reviewed with countermeasures noted which could have potentially affected the occurrence or severity of the specific crash. Using information from the review of these crashes and from the review of the literature, a summary of countermeasures for reducing the number and severity of crashes on two-lane rural roads was developed.

The countermeasures were divided into the general categories of roadway and non-roadway with the non-roadway countermeasures further divided into the areas of legislation, enforcement, and education/training. The countermeasures identified in the recommendations did not include those involving reconstruction of the road since this is an expensive measure usually taken only for sections of roads having a history of identified crash problems. These recommended countermeasures could be applied on a general basis across the state. A recommendation was made that several of the countermeasures could be combined as part of a typical resurfacing project.

A countermeasure effectiveness assessment was conducted which showed that enactment of a mandatory safety belt law had the highest potential to reduce fatalities on two-lane rural roads . The highest reduction estimates for roadway related countermeasures, which did not involve reconstruction, were adding shoulder or centerline rumble strips and installing chevron signs.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, nor the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.