Road Defect Attorney in San Diego

Were You Seriously Injured In An Accident Caused By Poor Road Design?

More than 30,000 people are killed and millions more are injured in car accidents every single year. One of the leading factors causing car crashes are road defects. According to the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey, a report put together by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (PDF) and presented to Congress in July of 2008, this issue causes an estimated 13,500 crashes every year. This includes the design of the road, issues with road signs and signals, obstructed views and other road-related conditions.

Examples of Dangerous Road Defects

  • Insufficient shoulders
  • Missing signals, signs, or guardrails
  • Overgrown roadside trees or shrubs
  • Weak bridges and other design elements, including overpasses
  • Construction zones that are not properly marked off or partitioned
  • Poorly designed intersections, on-ramps, off-ramps, and curves
  • Railroad crossings that are not properly protected or marked
  • Distressed pavement, exemplified by potholes, serious cracks, rough patches, and road edge dropoffs

Wrong-Way Crashes

Some of the most devastating accidents caused by poor road design are head-on collisions caused by drivers traveling the wrong way on the road. In a Highway Special Investigation Report (PDF) put together by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that looked into the causes of deadly wrong-way driving crashes, it was found that one of the leading causes of these types of accidents was drivers entering exit ramps. While driver-related choices like driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol played a role in entering the wrong ramp, poor signage and poor lighting around these signs played a notable factor. The NTSB concluded that ensuring that clear signage, roadway markings and a way to see these indicators at in the dark were key factors that could help limit the number of wrong-way crashes that occur.

The NTSB also looked the designs of ramps and interchanges and found that the majority of states used one of three designs: full diamond, full cloverleaf, and partial cloverleaf.

Common road designs, via National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Highway Special Investigation Report.

Images provided by the NTSB's Highway Special Investigation Report.

Through their investigation, researchers noted that:

  • Full cloverleaf ramps had the lowest rate of wrong-way entries, while left-hand exit ramps had the highest rate.
  • Drivers are twice as likely to enter the wrong way on partial interchanges compared to full interchanges.
  • Exit ramps that end at two-way streets have a high rate of wrong-way entries.
  • Drivers are more likely to drive the wrong direction at interchanges that have short sight distances leading up to decision points.
  • Drivers are more likely to enter exit ramps with rounded corners than exit ramps with sharp corners due to the fact that it is easier for drivers to recognize the changing road when there is a noticeable turn rather than a more gradual change.

Call our firm at (619) 215-1488 to discuss your case with one of our lawyers today.

Hire An Experienced Law Firm You Can Trust

At The McClellan Law Firm, our San Diego car accident attorneys remain committed to providing each client we take on with the experienced and knowledgeable legal representation required in their time of need. We have secured more than 120 verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million each, and will continue to fight to achieve the outcome our clients deserve. Give us a call at (619) 215-1488 to discuss your case with a member of our firm, or request a free consultation today by filling out our online form.


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