Dangerous Road Conditions
Many of America’s roads are in terrible shape. New York and New Jersey rank in the top 10 list of states with the worst road conditions. Here, 51% of the major roadways provide “a rough ride,” according to TRIP, a nonprofit organization that researches highway transportation issues. While they didn’t release information on how many injuries or deaths these poorly maintained roads cause, they do say that the deterioration of a region’s highway system causes increased costs related to fuel consumption, vehicle operation, traffic delays and additional traffic crashes.
For years, Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have fought for the rights of motorists who were involved in accidents that could have been prevented by the proper maintenance of NY State roadways. Anyone who has suffered injuries or other damages – including brain trauma and/or spinal cord injury, property damage, lost wages, disability, and (in the worst cases) funeral expenses – due to dangerous road conditions caused by negligence may be eligible to hold those in charge responsible. It costs nothing to speak with a qualified attorney at 1-800-469-7429.
Dangerous road conditions cause car accidents
A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission found that environment only accounted for 2 percent of overall accidents, but that still amounted to tens of thousands of accidents each year.
What are the factors that cause accidents?
Top environmental factors in accidents included:
- Slick roads due to ice or loose debris (26,000)
- Glare (9,000)
- View obstructions (6,000)
- Another highway-related condition (5,000)
- Fog/rain/snow (2,000)
- Other weather-related condition (2,000)
- Signs/signals (1,000)
- Road design (1,000)
Beware of bad roads – Types of hazardous road conditions
Other researchers have found a greater association between dangerous roads and serious accidents. Poor highway design and dangerous road conditions are a factor in more than 50 percent of the fatal crashes in America, according to a study released by Ted R. Miller of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. The 22,000 or so annual fatalities and $217.5 billion in damage is greater than crashes caused by alcohol or speeding.
Common causes for crashes related to dangerous road conditions include:
- Blind curves
- Broken guardrails
- Confusing signs
- Damaged or missing signs
- Improperly graded curves
- Lack of appropriate road markings
- Lack of working traffic signals
- Lighting that is too bright or too dim
- Low bridges or incorrect overhead bridge markings
- Poor landscaping and vision obstructions
- Poor salting or plowing in the winter
- Poorly banked roads
- Potholes and ruts
- The use of inappropriate road construction materials
- Uneven or absent shoulders
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association contends that there are many remedies for America’s most dangerous roadways, such as: adding or widening shoulders, widening or replacing narrow bridges, straightening crooked roads, requiring breakaway signs and light poles, using brighter pavement markings, adding rumble strips and guardrails, and installing easier-to-read signage.
Who is responsible for bad road conditions?
Accidents are not always the fault of the driver, particularly when the road is poorly designed or maintained. It can be very confusing to sort out who is responsible for the unsafe road conditions. For instance, in one case, a private contractor was hired by the local government to build a road. However, the State Department of Transportation controlled the funding for building the road and the local municipality was responsible for the ongoing maintenance. All three could bear some responsibility in a motor vehicle accident.
Vehicle damage caused by poor road conditions
In the state of New York, most insurance companies will subsidize the cost of vehicle damage repairs from poor road condition accidents even if your car was the only one involved. Even so, you may find there are large out-of-pocket deductibles or related expenses that you can’t cover. It may take a year or more to receive compensation for your case, but it is important to seek recompense through the court system to hold the negligent accountable and prevent similar accidents to other motorists. Beyond the cost of repairing your vehicle, you may also be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, emotional pain and suffering, and — in the worst circumstances — loss of companionship and funeral costs for your loved ones.
Dangerous road condition accident lawyer
Accident attorneys are especially crucial when going up against a formidable defendant like the government because of something called “sovereign immunity”, which is designed to protect taxpayer money from frivolous lawsuits. Unfortunately, legitimate lawsuits have more difficulty navigating this maze of red tape, too. Hiring professional legal counsel will help you assemble a strong case based on the facts. You won’t have to worry about contacting the police or appropriate agencies for copies of reports related to your accident. You won’t have to worry about finding a crash expert or tracking down witnesses for statements. All of that is handled by the attorneys working on your case. Call a dangerous road condition accident lawyer at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye at 1-800-469-7429. We’ve been fighting for New York residents since 1952!
Crashes caused by road damage: resources
- TRIP – Urban Roads Report (July 2015) http://www.tripnet.org/docs/Urban_Roads_TRIP_Report_July_2015.pdf
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Crash Stats https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812115
- Washington Post – Bad Highway Design, Conditions Contribute to Half of Fatal Auto Crashes in U.S. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070101700.html
- Smart Motorist – What Causes Car Accidents? http://www.smartmotorist.com/traffic-and-safety-guideline/what-causes-car-accidents.html