Lists of dangers on the road usually include drunk drivers, distracted drivers, defective automobiles, and plain human error. What many don’t consider is the state of the roads themselves. Poor road design could easily lead to a car accident—even if there aren’t any other cars around! If this is the case, it is up to qualified lawyers to investigate the causes of the accident and hold the negligent party responsible. For a free initial consultation, reach out to our firm at 561-899-2100.
Examples of Poor Road Design
Basic road elements such as signs, medians, and lines are often taken for granted. When something is not in place, disaster can soon follow. Because the hazards are not plainly seen, road design accidents can tend to be more serious and devastating, especially if the driver was unable to slow down or react quickly enough.
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The following are examples of potential hazards that may be a part of poor road design:
- On-ramps & off-ramps: A majority of on and off-ramps on numerous highways are the same distance and have similar placement. If a ramp is suddenly short or improperly placed, a deadly accident can result. The driver may not have enough time to make changes to avoid an accident.
- Narrow or steep shoulder design: If a shoulder is too narrow or too steep, an accident becomes likely. The shoulder is supposed to provide enough space for the driver to exit the car without being hit. If enough space isn’t available, the driver or the car could be impacted by other automobiles.
- Missing or defective median barriers: Medians separate traffic and drivers from one another. A defect in the median’s design could lead to head-on collisions with other vehicles.
- Sharp pavement edges: A sharp drop-off on the edge of the pavement could lead to the driver losing control of the vehicle. Driving on the edge can cause the car to swerve, as can attempting to get back up on the main roadway.
- Incorrect, missing, or difficult to read signage: Street and construction signs are necessary to ensuring safe driving. If these signs are not present, visible, or easy to read, drivers might miss important information that could result in damaging injuries for themselves and other parties.
- Incorrect speed limits. A posted speed limit may not actually be the safest speed limit for a particular stretch of road.
- Missing railings. Railings are essential to prevent vehicles from driving off of a high-up stretch of road or into an unsafe area, such as a body of water or a ditch. When railings are missing in areas where they are clearly needed, a municipality may be liable.
- Sharp turns or barriers causing visibility issues for oncoming vehicles. If the layout of a road includes turns and barriers that inherently make it difficult for a driver to see oncoming traffic, the risk of accidents dramatically increases.
- Improper maintenance of traffic. Traffic systems should be in good working order and synchronized in such a way that traffic is kept moving in an orderly and safe fashion.
- Lack of clearly marked pedestrian crosswalks. Crosswalks should be clearly designated so that pedestrians have a conspicuous and safe place to cross.
- Visibility obstructions due to signage or landscaping. Trees and shrubs should be regularly maintained in order to prevent obstructions of signs and signals.
Many of these issues are connected to government agencies, construction companies, and municipalities who may be responsible for creating or designing the road. At Clark Fountain, our team of skilled West Palm Beach car accidents lawyers can thoroughly investigate the circumstances around your case and help you pursue just compensation.