Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

« back to the list

Safety Effectiveness of "Stop Ahead" Pavement Markings

Product Type

Journal Article


Gross, F., R. Jagannathan, C. Lyon, and K. Eccles



Full citation

Gross, F., R. Jagannathan, C. Lyon, and K. Eccles. Safety Effectiveness of "Stop Ahead" Pavement Markings. In Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2056, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 2008, pp. 25-33.


There is a need for rigorous evaluation of low-cost safety strategies that states may implement as part of their strategic highway safety plans. Highway safety funds are limited, so it is important to identify cost-effective strategies. FHWA organized a pooled-fund study of 26 states to evaluate low-cost safety strategies; "Stop Ahead" pavement markings were one strategy selected for investigation. Geometric, traffic, and crash data were obtained for 175 intersections with "Stop Ahead" pavement markings in Arkansas, Maryland, and Minnesota. Similar data were obtained for reference sites within each state. An empirical Bayes approach was incorporated in a before-after study design to evaluate the safety effectiveness of the "Stop Ahead" pavement markings. An aggregate analysis indicated a significant reduction in total crashes for Arkansas, Maryland, and the two states combined. There was also a significant reduction in right-angle and rear-end crashes for Arkansas and a general reduction in injury crashes. A disaggregate analysis indicated that crash reductions are significantly greater at three-legged intersections than at four-legged intersections. The strategy was also more effective at intersections with all-way stop control. Given the low cost of this strategy, even with conservatively high cost estimates, only a modest reduction in crashes is needed to justify its use. On the basis of the estimated safety effectiveness, the necessary crash reduction is easily achievable.

Available From

Transportation Research Board

Link To Journal Article

Safety Effectiveness of "Stop Ahead" Pavement Markings


Accident rates
All-way stop-controlled intersections
Before and after studies
Cost effectiveness
Empirical Bayes method
Four leg intersections
Road markings
Stop ahead road marki

« Back to the List

HSIS Summaries

HSIS Summary Reports are two to eight pages in length and include a brief description of the issue addressed, data used, methodology applied, significant results, and practical implications.

Read More

Research Reports

A variety of research studies have been performed using data from HSIS. Many of the final reports prepared are now available electronically.

Read More

Technical Summaries

Research reports are often summarized in executive summaries, technical briefs, or other abbreviated formats. Included here are those road safety summaries that involved research using HSIS data.

Read More

Safety Analysis Tools

In addition to conducting research, HSIS resources are also used to develop products that can be used by practitioners in the analysis of safety problems.

Read More

Other Projects

HSIS data are sometimes used in research studies that result in other types of finished products, such as dissertations, theses, and conference proceedings.

Read More