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Poor Road Design & Maintenance Can Lead to Accidents

poor road design maintenance

As a driver, you trust that the roads you drive on day in and day out have been designed and are maintained for your safe passage. Unfortunately, accidents happen. Cars skid, slide, run off the road down embankments, collide with other vehicles and more.

A safe road design allows motorists to have sufficient time to be able to see, process and react to upcoming roadway conditions. However, when a road has been poorly designed or maintained, it can lead to some very serious motor vehicle accidents.


Poor Road Design + Poor Road Maintenance

When designing roads, engineers consider many factors and design for things such as:

  • An adequate recovery zone, allowing drivers who go off the road a way to safely return to it
  • Guardrails to protect motorists from steep embankments or other roadside hazards
  • Curves that can be navigated at appropriate speeds

Examples of poor road design might be:

Medians separate motorists traveling in different directions. If the median is too low or not situated properly it makes it possible for cars to cross into oncoming traffic. If a medium is too rigid, a vehicle can be totaled on impact or bounced back into traffic.

Signs warn motorist of the rules of the road and irregularities or other hazards. Old or damaged signs may not be replaced or a poorly placed sign may not be seen due to overgrown vegetation that can obscure it from view. Unanticipated hazards can cause drivers to overcorrect or lose control of their vehicle.

Roadways not graded or properly paved can allow water to accumulate, a condition which can lead to vehicles hydroplaning and drivers losing control of their vehicle.

Poor roadway design and maintenance can lead to very serious motor vehicle accidents and life-threatening injuries.

Poor Road Designs

  • Lack of proper guardrails
  • Blind curves
  • Overly narrow lanes
  • No shoulder or dangerous shoulder; not providing an adequate shoulder area for vehicles to stop if necessary
  • Excessive grades
  • Lack of proper signage regarding safe speed, approaching curves or approaching hazards
  • Visual impediments such as bushes or trees that were not adequately cleared during construction
  • Inadequate road drainage
  • Merging lanes that aren’t long enough

Poor Road Maintenance

  • Failure to trim overgrown plants that may be blocking the view of the road or a sign
  • Failure to maintain missing or damaged traffic signals and other traffic signs
  • Uncorrected potholes, guardrail or median damage
  • Excessive oil or gravel due to resurfacing or road maintenance procedures
  • Faded paint markings, like the center line or road edge markings
  • Untreated roads in winter weather

Dangerous Roadways Can Lead to Serious Injuries

As with any motor vehicle accident, devastating injuries can be sustained when the cause is a defective design or poor maintenance of the roadway.

  • Broken bones
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head trauma
  • Permanent scarring and/or disfigurement
  • Permanent disability and/or paralysis
  • Chronic injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Emotional trauma

Because these cases can be complex and involve governmental or multiple parties, the best advice is to retain the services of a personal injury attorney, like Nash & Franciskato, who has experience dealing with these entities.

Our attorneys have the expertise and knowledge to determine what road problems contributed to your accident.


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