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Consider a panel of concrete slab without any load transferring devices at it edges. When the concrete panel is subjected to traffic loads, the maximum stress induced in the concrete panel is at its four corners. Other than panel corners, the next significant stress induced in concrete slab is its four edges.
To avoid the structural failure of concrete pavement, one can locally increase the thickness of corners and edges to reduce the induced stresses. However, such local thickenings also increase temperature stresses. Moreover, the construction of non-uniform concrete pavement is not convenient from practical point of view. The other way out is to use load transfer devices like dowel bars at the edges of concrete panels. However, in situation where the designed thickness of concrete pavement is small which renders the provision of dowel bars not practical, special design of corner reinforcement has to be considered.