Though the vast majority of car accidents are caused by unsafe driver behavior, there are times when the design of a road plays a role in the collision. There are many ways engineers and city planners can reduce the risk of accidents. Oftentimes a slight change in placement of a stop sign of stop light can have a drastic effect on safety, but the design of the road itself is also key.
Certain aspects of a road’s design can drastically increase the risk of an accident occurring. Examples include:
- Significant changes in elevation at the edges of the roadway
- Narrow lanes
- Uneven pavement
Significant elevation changes at the edges of roadways pose an increased risk for rollover accidents and leave less margin for error when vehicles are attempting to avoid head-on collisions. Having a proper shoulder set aside on the road is important for minimizing these risks, and this safety space should be included whenever possible.
Narrow lanes pose an obvious risk to safety, a risk elevated even more by the number of people driving distracted. Even for those who are paying attention to the road, minor problems with the car’s handling can result in an accident if not enough space is available to correct course. Narrow lanes also lend themselves to people overcorrecting, as they overcompensate for the little space available.
Uneven pavement poses a handling risk, as sudden changes in elevation can affect the steering of a vehicle, causing it to veer left or right. Uneven pavement is particularly dangerous if the change is not easily visible, and at night or in other conditions where visibility is diminished.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, determining whether or not road design flaws may have contributed can be difficult. Please consider consulting with an experienced attorney about your case. A qualified lawyer and experts can evaluate the area the accident occurred and guide you through the process of determining fault in your accident.