Infrastructure and Roadway Improvements Can Prevent Georgia Car Accidents


September 25, 2012

Poor road design can cost, cost, and cost. It can cost people their and their loved one's lives when defective roadway designs cause auto accidents.

Poorly conceived Georgia streets and highways also cost the taxpayers money in terms of maintenance, travel delays, and medical costs from Georgia car accidents.

The first step in taking pro-active measures to improve roadway design is for cities and counties to be aware of the defects that increase the risk of car accidents. Many times subsequent accidents that occur at the same place again and again will be an indicator. Areas of high traffic congestion are another indicator. Each community is going to be different in terms of road safety issues and the solutions that are going to be needed to address the problems. Here are examples of nine roadway conditions that can be hazardous:

  1. Roadway departure hazards - This is when vehicles leave the road accidentally and can often involve a rollover or collisions with fixed objects. Steep slopes and narrow shoulders can contribute to these types of hazardous conditions.
  2. Road surface conditions - These can include potholes, inadequate drainage, drop off in the road surface or any other challenging road surface.
  3. Narrow roadways and bridges.
  4. Railroad crossings - According to the Federal Railroad Administration, people are 30 times more likely to die when involved in a collision with a train than with another car, bus, or truck.
  5. Work zones - These are areas where drivers will encounter changes in speed, traffic patterns, congestion and workers on the side of the road. There may not be adequate warning signs or lights when needed.
  6. Intersections - These can be blocked by vegetation or have inadequate traffic signals and turn lanes.
  7. Roadway design limitations - Old roadways that were designed years ago that cannot adequately accommodate the increase in the volume of traffic and the increased rate of speed of vehicles. They may have unsafe curves, inadequate medians and poor signage.
  8. Roadway access problems
  9. Pedestrian and bicycle traffic - Drivers must slow down around people and bicycles, and roadways must be designed to accommodate them.

Dealing with these hazardous conditions takes the effort of many different agencies, but if the efforts can help to prevent car accidents on our nation's roadways, then the efforts are worth it. Thousands of people are killed on our roadways each year and millions are injured.

Many communities have successfully re-engineered hazardous locations in their communities based on hard data that they collected including accident statistics. In Bend, OR, there was an intersection that was the site of 30 crashes over a three-year period. They decided to limit one of the streets to right turns only and posted additional signage and increased traffic enforcement of the intersection. When the crash data was analyzed the following year, the crash total was one. The next year it was the same.

Improvement on road design has proven to prevent or decrease car accidents in some cases. Each situation in an area has to be analyzed to determine how to address the particular problem, and there can be more than one solution.

If a person is injured or there is a wrongful death on a roadway due to poor road design or a road defect, then there is often an agency that can be held responsible for the design and maintenance of the dangerous road. It is sometimes difficult to prove the inadequacy of the roadway design or defect. Some government agencies fall under what is called sovereign immunity. This means that they cannot be held liable for the injuries a person suffers or for someone's death. These cases can be complicated so it is best to hire an experienced Georgia auto accident attorney.

Call our 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 our car accident web page at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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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.