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High Friction Surface Treatment

road crew applying high friction surface treatment

High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST) is an innovative technique to improve the safety of motorists at high-priority crash locations throughout the commonwealth. The Federal Highway Administration has also included HFST treatment as part of its Every Day Counts program.

How Does It Work?

diagram showing how a car stops sooner when high friction surface treatment is in place

Road surfaces become polished in areas where drivers brake often, like going around curves, down steep roads, or at an intersection. This makes vehicles skid more because there is less friction between the tires and the road surface. Wet road surfaces can also reduce pavement friction and cause skidding or hydroplaning.

High Friction Surface treatment is added to the top of a road surface. It uses materials, such as bauxite, to create more friction on pavement. These materials, called aggregates, are high quality and are less likely to wear down than normal pavement. Having greater friction helps to keep vehicles in their lane on slippery pavement around curves and helps the driver stop.

What Are The Benefits?

  • Reduces crashes, injuries, and fatalities on curves and intersections that tend to have more wet-pavement-related crashes
  • Installs quickly with minimal traffic impact (expect one lane of traffic to be shut down for two to three hours during application and curing)
  • Provides a durable, long-lasting, moderate-cost surface option over the pavement's life cycle
  • Increases road-surface skid resistance and water drainage
  • Decreases braking distance, hydroplaning, splash and spray