Aside from the errors committed by the driver or passenger, machine failure, and harsh weather, the condition of the road is also a factor that affects the safety of a land journey. Road conditions may not be the leading cause of vehicular accidents, but that is not enough reason to neglect the maintenance of roads and highways.
The following are some of the issues that connect car accidents and road condition to each other.
- Hazards â€“ Both permanent and temporary hazards are present on the road. Road intersections, merging lanes, bends, school zones, and pedestrian crossings are considered permanent while construction, parked vehicles, road accidents, traffic jams, and wild animals (including road kill) are temporary. They are considered hazards because they are unwanted obstructions on the road.
- Surfaces â€“ Different materials can be used to make roads, thus the surfaces also differ. The average traffic speed and volume, location, and the environment influence the surface of the road. The surface may be filled with debris or potholes that cause accidents. Those should be taken care of by local highway departments. During winter, roads should also be properly salted and sanded in order to minimize slips.
- Traffic control devices â€“ Lack of these devices contribute greatly to car accidents. Markings like dotted or double lines, reflective cats-eyes and stakes, light signals, speed limit, stop and yield signs, school and pedestrian crossings, police surveillance, and roundabouts are important to help minimize collisions.
- Behavioral control devices â€“ Obstacles are built in order to limit the speed that drivers are allowed to go. Crash barrels, speed bumps, pedestrian islands, medians, high curbing, guard rails, and concrete barriers serve as obstructions so that cars won't go pass speed limit.
- Identification signs â€“ These signs help drivers to determine the proper route in order for them to arrive at their destination. Without these, motorists will get lost. Street signs, route number, and mileage estimates are some examples of identification signs. Their prints should always be visible; report any signs that are unreadable to the local police department.
- Fixed objects â€“ Trees or utility poles that are found almost at the center of the road should be removed, especially if they are known to have caused accidents before.
A safe road may help minimize car accidents, but it's the people who should take precautionary actions in order to keep themselves safe.