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Safer Roadways Via Optical Illusions

April 26, 2012

All is fair in love and . . . preventing motor vehicle accidents. Roadway designers are experimenting with ways to encourage drivers to slow down including utilizing optical illusions and trickery to make roads safer for drivers.

It has long been recognized that drivers adjust their speed based on their perceptions. This information has been used by roadway planners in Georgia and across the U.S. in building businesses closer to the street, which has been shown to result in drivers automatically slowing their speed. The idea is that sometimes roadways can be designed so that a driver that might otherwise disregard the speed limit is enticed to slow down.

Roadway designers have experimented with new pavement markings for roadways that may encourage drivers to slow down regardless of the speed limit. The markings create the optical illusion that a vehicle is traveling faster than it is actually moving. These roadway markings referred to as “optical speed bars” consist of a series of lines that appear at decreasing intervals on the roadway. The initial tests of these roadway markings reveal that they seem to be effective in getting drivers to slow down.

Despite the danger associated with some dangerous curvy roads, aggressive enforcement of speed limits sometimes are ineffective in getting drivers to reduce their speed and drive more carefully. This optical illusion in the marking of roadways is a way to slow drivers who might otherwise disregard signs indicating a need to reduce their speed. The benefit of this roadway marking system can be especially useful on curvy roads, those that tend to get slippery and wet or other particularly treacherous roadways.

The series of lines is painted at decreasing intervals on the road. The markings give drivers the illusion that the car is moving faster than it is actually traveling, and the pattern of lines captures a driver’s attention so he or she reduces the vehicle’s speed. There are many stretches of roadway that driver’s know are notoriously dangerous, but even with this knowledge, many drivers still do not reduce their speed which can result in tragic car accidents that would have been avoided if the driver had been traveling at a slower speed.

While it is unfortunate that some drivers refuse to drive safely without this type of deception, this method of using optical illusions to encourage safer speeds is just one more weapon in the arsenal in encouraging safer driving practices. Georgia car accidents where speed is a factor are frequently those that result in the most horrific injuries and, far too often, fatalities.

The dedicated and experienced Georgia speeding accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing Georgia injury victims for over 39 years. Our Georgia speeding accident lawyers are 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 and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.