Road Infrastructure and How it can Help Road Safety - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Thursday, 18 April 2019

Road Infrastructure and How it can Help Road Safety

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Government efforts to make it safer for people to travel the roads and highways of Ontario and the other provinces are motivated by a desire to reduce the number of accidents in which people are seriously injured or killed. Ontario Provincial Police reported a dramatic increase in fatalities last year with 341 people killed in highway accidents. This represents an 11 percent increase from the total a year earlier. There are different strategies governments can use to make the roads safer, including increased enforcement of traffic laws and harsher penalties for violators. Another strategy is to make improvements in road infrastructure designed make them safer for the motorists and pedestrians using them.

Adding lanes to reduce driver frustration

Crawling along behind a slow-moving vehicle can be frustrating for drivers, and frustration can cause a driver to engage in unsafe behaviours, including illegal or unsafe passing and tailgating. Adding additional lanes to highways affords drivers a safe method for passing slower vehicles. This reduces frustration by keeping traffic moving at safe speeds and without unsafe or illegal activities by drivers. Transport Canada reports that additional lanes decrease accidents by as much as 29 percent.

Keeping vehicles on the road

It is estimated that highway deaths and serious injuries can be decreased by as much as 30 percent by installing guard rails where there is a curve in the road. The barriers prevent vehicles from straying from the roadway into trees or into oncoming traffic.

Along with more guardrails has been an increase in the number of roads with paved shoulders instead of dirt or gravel. Drivers drifting off the roadway onto an unpaved surface can easily lose control of their vehicles. Paved shoulders increase the chances of a driver being able to regain control of a vehicle.

So-called “rumble strips” cut into the pavement along a lane and the shoulder warn drivers as they are about to leave the paved portion of the road by causing their vehicles to vibrate. This is particularly helpful for drivers who might be drowsy or distracted.

Driving while suffering the effects of a lack of sleep can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Rumble strips offer a warning for those drivers who insist on putting themselves and others in danger by driving while drowsy.

Once drivers get use to them, roundabouts save lives

Roundabouts force drivers to slow down, so when the rare collision does occur, it happens at speeds much slower than a motorist might experience at a conventional intersection. Slower speeds reduce the damage and the seriousness of personal injuries that might occur.

Another advantage of roundabouts is the reduction in the risk of head-on collisions. This is simply due to the fact that all vehicles travelling in a roundabout are going in the same direction. They also reduce the risk of rear-end collisions associated with drivers approaching an intersection and failing to observe other vehicles stopped at a traffic light or at a stop sign.

More safety measures to come

Some of the other road projects governments have undertaken to increase safety for pedestrians include clearly marked crossovers and crosswalks. Improved signage, pavement markings and overhead signs to warn motorists make intersections and locations where pedestrians are crossing more visible to motorists.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully pursuing claims for compensation on behalf of individuals injured due to the negligence of other parties. If you have been injured in an accident you could have a claim for compensation. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit their website to speak to someone now. They offer free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims throughout Ontario.

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