Dangerous Roads

Defective and Dangerous Roadways May Lead to Serious Car Accidents

Roadway design, poor road maintenance or faulty construction may be partially or wholly to blame for a car accident. In spite of efforts by civil engineers, local governments, transportation consultants and law enforcement agencies to design and maintain roads that are safe for travel, there are situations where a defective or dangerous road may lead to a serious traffic accident. There are a few key issues to consider when discussing the topic of roadway safety:
  • Visibility – Roads should be designed with visibility in mind, making it easier for drivers to see any hazards, such as oncoming traffic, debris and wild animals. Intersections, merging lanes, crosswalks and sharp curves or downgrades are particularly hazardous places for drivers if the roads are poorly designed.
  • Roadway Surfaces – Engineers will select different surfaces for roads depending on the type of road, its location, weather conditions, the volume of traffic it will carry, the average speed of vehicles that will travel on the road, and more. This may also include setting up passing and no-passing zones, putting grooved pavement along the shoulder to help drivers avoid veering off the road, the use of guardrails and more.
  • Traffic Signs and Traffic Lights – Traffic signs and lights should be properly positioned for maximum visibility. They should also be properly maintained to ensure they are functioning properly, and they should act to maximize safety for all drivers on the road. This may include speed limit signs, traffic lights, stop signs, yields signs, pedestrian crossings, speed bumps, raised medians and more.
  • Roadway Identification Signs – Roadway identification signs play an important role in helping drivers identify streets, highways and freeways. They may give advanced notice of destinations, hazards, points of interest, detours or mileage to the next city. If these are not clearly visible or are incorrect, they may present a serious hazard to drivers.
  • Roadway Maintenance – Faded road signs, debris, large potholes, broken guardrails and overhanging foliage may contribute to accidents. Road construction may also cause a collision if the site is not properly identified.
  • Salting and Sanding – In areas where winter weather brings snow and ice, salting will be necessary to make roads safer to drive on. In some areas, where environmental concerns have resulted in a reduction of widespread salting, sand, clay or soot may be used. Inadequate salting may be a real concern during cold weather, leading to serious collisions.

Car accidents caused by hazardous roadways may present various problems. In some cases, the local government may be held accountable, but different rules apply in these matters and it will therefore be crucial to review the matter with a professional who knows what can be done to hold the proper agency or company responsible.

If you are interested in learning more, visit our car accident info center or click here to find a local attorney to help with your case.