New Road Designs Being Used to Reduce Georgia Auto Accidents


May 19, 2011

Most people recognize that careless and inconsiderate drivers are a frequent cause of Georgia car accidents. Few would be surprised to hear that defective cars and defective parts also cause many serious motor vehicle accidents.

What might be less obvious is that the design of a roadway can actually contribute to accidents rather than prevent them. The Georgia Department of Transportation has begun to implement plans to change the design of future Georgia roadways to improve safety and reduce accident risks. We have provided an overview of some of the existing types of common hazards associated with roadway design in Georgia and new innovative roadway designs being pursued to reduce Georgia auto accidents.

Design hazards that can cause auto accidents in Atlanta and throughout Georgia include:

  • Embankments – These are often found on road curves, and if these are too steep or not steep enough they can cause a hazard to motorists.
  • Barriers and guard rails - Designed to organize traffic and keep it in its place, guard rails, medians, curbs, and speed bumps can be very dangerous if placed wrong or poorly designed.
  • On and off ramps - If these are not designed to allow traffic to keep moving on and off them, then congestion and back-ups can occur which increase the risk of accidents.
  • Road markings – These are usually reflective in nature so that drivers can see them at night and in bad weather. Sometimes these are either not maintained and faded, or they are not laid out correctly, causing confusion and accidents.
  • Road surfaces - These should serve to alert drivers to wake up or to perform a different action. They should not serve to hinder a motorist's ability to control their vehicle.
  • Shoulder - A road should be designed with a shoulder and a fairly wide one. Roads that have no shoulder can grab a car's tires and cause them to run off the roadway.
  • Signage - Signs that are not illuminated properly or placed far enough in advance can increase the risk of car accidents because motorists are not properly prepared for what is ahead.
  • Automated traffic control - Traffic lights, flashing yellow lights and warning lights should be placed where drivers can see them and far enough in advance for drivers to react to their message.
  • Increased water retention - Water may drain onto a certain part of a roadway and pool due to bad drainage design. This can lead an automobile to hydroplane so that the driver loses control of the vehicle.

Other roadway designs, when done correctly and applied to the right area, can be very effective for creating less congestion, better traffic flow, better visibility and fewer auto accidents. One roadway design that is being implemented in Georgia that is intended to reduce the amount of traffic accidents in certain areas is the roundabout. There are currently over 572 roundabouts in the U.S. There were studies done in 2008 on 55 intersections throughout the U.S. before and after the roundabouts were installed.

This is what the study showed:

  • There was a 35 percent overall decrease in crashes.
  • There was a 76 percent decrease in crashes involving injuries.
  • There was an 81 percent decrease in fatal crashes for single lane urban roundabouts.
  • There was a 71 percent decrease in fatal crashes for single lane rural roundabouts.

There are many benefits to installing roundabouts:

  • Instead of high-speed sharp angle collisions, a roundabout, which has 75% fewer conflict points, will typically only yield slow-speed low-angle collisions.
  • They require less maintenance in the long run because they do not contain traffic lights that need to be maintained over time.
  • They have been proven safer than regular intersections.

Georgia's Department of Transportation actually has a roundabout policy in place. It was recently revised to allow multi-lane roundabouts, and it requires that the circles be considered in all new or reconstruction projects, for existing intersections that need safety improvements and for any intersections where traffic lights are being requested.

Georgia residents may be seeing a lot more of these roundabouts appear in the state. They, like any other road system, must be designed correctly in order to be safe. Even the best of intentions can go bad and car accidents can occur. Sometimes these Georgia auto accidents are no fault of your own but are due to poor road design. If you have suffered serious injury or have lost a loved one in a Georgia car accident resulting in part from poor road design, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our experienced Georgia auto accident attorneys use our best efforts to seek the best possible outcome for our clients. Please note that legal time deadlines apply to all legal matters, and failure to take the required action within the applicable time period will result in the loss of your rights. For claims against government entities the time period can be much shorter, so in all situations it is best to consult with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney without delay.

Call our experienced Atlanta auto accident attorneys today to discuss your rights and how we can help. Montlick and Associates is available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.