Skip to Main Content

Find COVID-19 Information and Resources

TDOT gets National Honors for Targeting Dangerous Intersections with New, Safer J-Turns

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 | 04:47am



Targets Dangerous Intersections with New, Safer J-Turns

(Washington, DC) -- At an awards ceremony on Capitol Hill, the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today recognized the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for its efforts to improve safety at dangerous intersections by implementing new J-Turn designs.

A J-Turn requires side road movements to be made indirectly by making a right turn, traveling about a quarter-mile (pending speed and curves) on the divided main road, and then making a U-turn to proceed in the opposite direction on the main road toward the intended destination.

J-Turn improvements were made at four locations that had a number of side-swipe crashes at intersections: 1) Maury County, State Route 6 at Canaan Road; 2) Maury County, State Route 6 at South Cross Bridges Road; 3) Monroe County, State Route 33 at the intersection of the Wal-Mart entrance, and 4) Crockett County, State Route 20 at the intersection of Egg Hill Road.

For the three years prior to the implementation of J-Turns, there were a total of 54 crashes at the four locations with 2 fatalities and 8 incapacitating injuries.  For the three years after implementation of the J-Turn design in 2007, there were only 10 crashes with no fatalities and no incapacitating injuries.

“The Tennessee Department of Transportation should be commended for tackling the tough problem of intersection safety,” said Gregory M. Cohen, P.E., Executive Director of the Roadway Safety Foundation.  “Their implementation of new J-Turns at four locations led to an impressive 81% reduction in overall crashes and a 100% reduction in fatalities.  This program will serve as a model for transportation agencies around the country.”

“Safety is the number one priority of this agency,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer.  “The implementation of these J-Turns was an innovative approach to solving the safety issues we were experiencing at these locations, and we have seen dramatic results. I applaud the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Project Planning team for their hard work and dedication to saving lives.”

National Roadway Safety Award recipients were evaluated on three criteria – innovation, effectiveness, and efficient use of resources. Program categories included infrastructure improvements, operational improvements, and program planning, development, and evaluation. 

Blue Ribbon Panel Judges included:  Philip J. Caruso, Deputy Executive Director for Technical Programs, Institute of Transportation Engineers; Gregory M. Cohen, P.E., Executive Director, Roadway Safety Foundation; William A. Crank, Senior Community Relations Manager, Michelin North America; Anthony Giancola, P.E., Consultant, formerly of the National Association of County Engineers; Michael Griffith, Director, FHWA Office of Safety Technologies; Tony Kane, Consultant, formerly of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and Richard Pain, Transportation Safety Coordinator, Transportation Research Board.

Roadway safety programs are a critical part of the nation’s solutions to saving lives and preventing injuries on our nation’s highways.  There were 32,367 people killed in traffic crashes on U.S. roads in 2011.

The Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation present the biennial National Roadway Safety Awards to programs and projects across the nation exhibiting excellence in roadway design, operations and planning. The RSF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable and educational organization solely dedicated to reducing the frequency and severity of motor vehicle crashes by improving the safety of America's roadways. 



Press Releases | Media Advisories | Transportation