Paved shoulders provide numerous safety benefits for motorists and pedestrians. Installing or widening paved shoulders has the following benefits:

  • Provides a stable surface off of the roadway for pedestrians to use when sidewalks cannot be provided.
  • Reduces numerous crash types including the following:
    • Head on crashes (15%–75% reported reduction)
    • Sideswipe crashes (15%–41%)
    • Fixed object crashes (29%–49%)
    • Pedestrian (walking along roadway) crashes (71%)
  • Improves roadway drainage
  • Increases effective turning radii at intersections
  • Reduces shoulder maintenance requirements
  • Provides emergency stopping space for broken-down vehicles
  • Provides space for maintenance operations and snow storage
  • Provides space for variable message signs
  • Provides an increased level of comfort for bicyclists