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The Impact of Road Design and Infrastructure on Car Accident Rates

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In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the crucial role that road design and infrastructure plays in the incidence of car accidents. The objective of road design and infrastructure is to provide a safe and efficient transportation system, reducing the number and severity of crashes, and improving mobility for all users. However, that doesn’t always happen. Some roads and highways are known for being dangerous.

Highway on-ramps, stretches of highway, intersections – any of these can become dangerous. For example, data from the Texas DOT show that some of the most dangerous intersections in Houston are:

In Dallas, some highways are known for being dangerous, according to data from the Texas DOT include:

Until self driving cars eliminate motor vehicle accidents, dangerous road design is something that impacts us all in Texas.

Factors Influencing Car Accident Rates in Road Design

 Several factors play a role in the impact of road design on car accident rates. These include:

Mitigating the Impact of Road Design on Car Accident Rates

To mitigate the impact of road design on car accident rates, transportation engineers and planners use a variety of strategies and techniques. These include:

Glossary of Terms

Lane width: The width of a lane on a roadway, expressed in feet or meters.

Shoulder width: The width of the shoulder of a roadway, expressed in feet or meters.

Curve design: The design of a curve in a roadway, including the radius and superelevation.

 Grade and alignment: The slope and horizontal alignment of a roadway, expressed in percent grade and horizontal curvature.

Intersection design: The design of intersections, including the placement of stop signs, traffic signals, and crosswalks.

Lighting: Illumination of a roadway, including streetlights and overhead lighting.

Road signs and markings: Signs and markings used to provide guidance and information to road users, including warning signs, regulatory signs, and pavement markings.

Median barrier: A physical barrier separating opposing lanes of traffic on a divided highway.

Rumble strips: Raised pavement markers used to alert drivers of potential hazards.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS): A range of technologies used to improve safety, efficiency, and mobility in the transportation system.

Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS): Technologies used to manage traffic flow and reduce congestion, including traffic signals, ramp meters, and dynamic message signs.

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