High friction surface treatments

Safety issueroad surface textures

Maintaining sufficient friction on the highway is needed for safe driving. A crash may result when a vehicle loses traction traveling through a curve, in wet conditions, down a steep grade or at a high speed.

Safety design

High friction surface treatments (HFST) are a specially-engineered pavement overlay that has a rougher texture and greater surface area to provide additional friction. It is a durable surface that is capable of withstanding everyday roadway demands. High friction surface treatments are generally applied to short sections of the roadway to increase the friction that is diminished by existing pavement condition, roadway design or wet weather.

Kentucky has installed over 60 high friction surface treatments and has seen total crash reductions of 78 percent, with wet-weather related crash reductions of 85 percent.


  • Reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities
  • Relatively low in cost compared to geometric improvements
  • Produce negligible environmental impacts
  • Short installation time has minimal impact on traffic

Where are they being used?

HFST are used in specific locations where additional friction is needed for safe driving. These locations can include:

  • Bridges
  • Curves
  • Down grades
  • Intersections


Barry Paye, P.E.
WisDOT Materials Management Chief
(608) 246-7945