A road shoulder is a strip of land immediately adjacent to the traffic lane of a road not bordered by kerb & channel. The shoulder may be sealed in the case of highways and major roads, but it is typically unsealed and of a lesser depth and perhaps constructed of inferior material than the adjacent traffic lane.
Road shoulders are designed to:
- provide a factor of safety for road users who accidently leave or are forced to leave the sealed pavement area, and
- protect the sealed pavement from excess deterioration.