How Poor Road Design Causes Car Accidents
Common causes of car accidents include speeding, alcohol, and inattentiveness, but many other accidents are caused by poor road design. Car accidents in Philadelphia occur occasionally because of poorly designed roads and other poorly planned or engineered traffic designs.
Most roadways are designed and maintained by state and local governments, with federal funding for major highways and the Interstate. Local municipalities might put up signs, fix some potholes, or remedy other road hazards. A poorly designed ramp, a misplaced sign, or a dangerous road design can lead to devastating damages to unsuspecting motorists.
The primary cause of poor road design accidents
- Medians: Medians help separate motorists who are traveling in various directions and prevent an out-of-control vehicle from entering opposing traffic lanes. Medians that are too low or not appropriately located allow cars to cross and often result in tragic outcomes. Some median barriers might be too rigid, crushing a vehicle or sending it back into oncoming traffic. Other medians lack good reflectors that warn drivers of their location at night.
- Signs: Road signs warn drivers of road conditions, speed limits, and other important safety information. Signs that become faded, old, or damaged and are not replaced timely can be dangerous for drivers. In some cases, new hazards arise that are not addressed with a sign. When a sign is poorly located or unable to be read due to faded characters or overgrown foliage, the result can be a dangerous accident.
- Shoulder design: These types of edge drop-offs are often created due to inadequate or incomplete highway construction or reconstruction. A significant shoulder drop-off can be dangerous for motorists who could lose control of their car resulting in a collision with oncoming traffic or traffic following behind.
- Defective grading: When a roadway is not properly paved or graded, it allows pools of water to accumulate and can cause cars to hydroplane and lose control. At high speeds, this can be extremely dangerous to the motorist and others on the road.
- Short ramps: When ramps are made too short to allow the motorist to safely slow down or speed up when exiting or entering a highway. This often happens to drivers when they are not familiar with the ramp and fail to adjust for the shortened on or off-ramp.
- Highway work zones: Work zones can present a number of dangers, which is why the law requires drivers to slow down when traveling through these areas. Common dangers in these areas include construction debris in the road, uneven roadways or shoulders, workers too close to the road, slower-moving construction vehicles, traffic congestions, reduced and merging lanes, and large construction equipment near travel lanes. If cars do not drive safely through this area, the risk is not just to the driver but also to the construction workers trying to complete the road. In situations where construction workers have found themselves injured due to a driver carelessly passing through, they are entitled to ask for compensation. You can learn more about this when you contact a professional lawyer.
Damages caused by poor road design accidents
You have the right to recover compensation for injuries caused by road defects. Contact a Philadelphia accident lawyer to prove that the government is responsible for your damages caused by the accident. An accident lawyer can help prove that the government entity responsible for the roadway defect was negligent. Common injuries in auto cases include the following:
- Neck and back injuries
- Damage to the spinal cord
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Permanent disability
- Broken limbs
- Facial injuries
- Emotional trauma
Fatal car crashes reported every year
Car accidents happen almost every day. There are certain types of accidents that are more common and occur quite often, such as fender benders. This increases the need for education and awareness among citizens who share the roads. More knowledge about the dangers of driving will enable them to take precautions that reduce the risk of these accidents. There are several factors that lead to these car accidents. When a vehicle collides with another vehicle, these accidents are likely to cause harm to other vehicle owners. The following are common types of car accidents and the safety precautions people should take.
A rear-end collision occurs when one vehicle owner crashes into the rear of another vehicle that is traveling in front of it. Quick stops, distracted driving, and dangers in the road are some of the common reasons that may lead to these accidents. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, rear-end collisions are some of the most frequent types of accidents that occur on the roads in the United States.
You should avoid distracted driving and focus on the road while driving. In addition, you should always ensure that the brake lights on your vehicle are working. Vehicle owners should also consider the driving conditions before planning to drive on the road. If the weather is snowy or it is raining, it is likely that these conditions will impact safe driving. Therefore, you should check the weather report before heading out.
Single-vehicle crashes are another common type of car accident that occurs frequently. As the name suggests, these accidents involve only one motor vehicle. There is a common misconception associated with these crashes. It is often thought that the driver in a single-vehicle accident is responsible. That is not always the reality and, in some cases, the other vehicle owner can also be held responsible for the accident.
For instance, when another driver changes lanes or takes an abrupt turn, the driver following may have to make a sudden stop, which can cause them to veer off the road to avoid a collision, resulting in damage and injury. Manufacturing defects can also lead to single-vehicle accidents. In those cases, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturing company.
How to determine liability?
When a car accident occurs because of defective or poorly maintained road construction, the victim can file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Because a city, state, or federal government is typically responsible for highway design, maintenance, and other safety measures on highways and roads, you may have a viable legal complaint against these entities for a case of negligence.
A Personal Injury Lawyer can help advise you on how to obtain maximum compensation for your damages. To substantiate your claim, you should have documentation, such as the following:
- Police report or accident report
- The address and location of the defective road condition
- Documentation of medical bills and other expenses related to the accident
Most of the compensation you can recover includes medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and pain and suffering. When there are defective roadway designs that lead to a car accident, it takes a competent legal professional to consider every piece of evidence that may have caused the accident. An attorney should examine all possible flaws in the road and its design that led to an accident.
Suing a government entity is quite complicated. There are certain requirements that may have to be met before the court will hear a complaint against a government agency. You may have different notification requirements with the government and may have significantly less time to file a lawsuit. Given the short time frame and the complex nature of filing a lawsuit, it is best to hire a skilled Car Accident Attorney to handle your case.
Read more: What to Do After a Car Accident: 5 Steps to Take