High Friction Surface Treatment

High Friction Surface Treatment

High Friction Surface Treatment

Crashes on the nation’s roadways continue to be one of the leading causes of fatalities and major injuries in the United States, particularly in rural areas. Roughly half of all fatal crashes occur at intersections or on horizontal curves. In horizontal curve crashes, it is often the case that the vehicle speed and curve geometry create a “friction demand” higher than what can be achieved with standard pavement surfaces. Intersection crashes often occur when driver error creates an unexpected need for increased friction demand to serve as a “speed countermeasure.”


A cost effective approach that has been shown to be effective in addressing high “friction demand” locations is the installation of a High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST). High Friction Surface Treatments are pavement surface treatments that are composed of extremely hard, polish- and abrasion-resistant aggregates bonded to the pavement surface that greatly enhance the skid resistance and frictional characteristics of a road surface. HFSTs address three speed-related crash conditions: low friction, marginal friction (further reduced by weather) and friction values not compatible with approach speeds and geometrics.


ATSSA's High Friction Surface Treatment Council (member login required) works to assist policymakers and practitioners to better understand the impact of friction demand on roadway safety, including the correct selection and implementation of High Friction Surface Treatment to improve safety at high-risk locations. Council members also aim to provide the latest information related to High Friction Surface Treatment that will be the most helpful in the ongoing effort to create safer roadways for the traveling public.



High Friction Surface Treatments

Continuous Pavement Friction Measurement (CPFM)

HFST Site Selection and Installation Guide


Case Studies

Intersection of Forest Drive and Cole Creek Parkway in Bellevue, Wash.

  • Washington, 2004 - Fact Sheet
  • After applying HFST, accidents at this intersection dropped 78% and costs associated with accidents declined by 83%.

Pennsylvania SR 611-Northampton County

  • Pennsylvania, 2007 - Fact Sheet
  • 234 crashes – 164 of which were wet pavement – and 8 fatalities in total had occurred in the five years prior to the HFST treatment, have experienced 17 crashes (93% reduction) and zero fatalities to date since their implementation.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's High Friction Surface Treatment and Field Installation Program

  • Kentucky, 2010 - Fact Sheet
  • Yearly wet crash averages declined by 85%, yearly dry crash averages declined by 66% and yearly total crashes declined by 78%.

Noteworthy Practice for South Dakota HFST for Winter Road Conditions

  • South Dakota, 2013 - Fact Sheet
  • A 78% reduction in run-offroad (ROR) crashes for 2015 when compared to the average number of crashes per year for the before period of 2009 through 2013. Similarly, they observed an 89% reduction for 2016 compared to the before period crashes.


HFST Material Component Suppliers and Installers

ATSSA Members Only Directory


To Learn More About HFST

Get in touch with a leading industry subject matter expert for an in-person or virtual technical discussion by contacting rita.rose@atssa.com