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Highway Defect Cases

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Highway Defect Cases

Brien Roche

Roadway Drop-off Cases

Roadway drop off injuries arise in those instances where a vehicle leaves the travel portion of the roadway onto a sunken shoulder and the driver then attempts to reenter the roadway by pulling the front wheels at an unmanageable angle and the vehicle, in effect, slingshots across the road or rolls over.  A drop-off of two inches or sometimes even less can cause such loss of control.  On highways where the speed limit is 55 or more a drop-off of even one inch can cause fatal results.

There Are Standards That May Apply To Roadway Drop-Off Cases

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has stated that well-designed shoulders are needed on any roadway with an appreciable volume of traffic.  The typical motorist when confronted with a sudden drop-off will attempt to reenter the travel lane rather than simply going with the flow, i.e. proceeding straight ahead.

In handling a vehicle drop-off case it is important to identify the cause of the drop-off.  For instance, the drop-off may have been caused from tractor trailers running their wheels over the road edges, school buses or other delivery vehicles compacting a shoulder so as to cause a drop-off or a single rain storm, which could wear away a significant amount of loose material on the road’s edge.

It is critical to identify the source of the drop-off in order to identify the potentially at fault party.

Potential sources of  information in regards to the cause of the drop-off are:

  • Local residents who may have knowledge of the cause of the drop-off.
  • The applicable contracts and regulations dealing with the construction of the roadway.
  • The Federal Highway Administration’s Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices has sections dealing exclusively with drop-offs.
  • AASHTO publishes specifications, protocols and guidelines dealing with drop-offs.  In particular, their Green Book may be helpful.
  • The FHA’s Standard Specifications for Construction of Roads and Bridges on Federal Highway Projects provides some guidance on drop-offs.
  • The American Automobile Association has published a very comprehensive analysis of crash statistics that may likewise be helpful.

For more information about roadway drop off cases within the category of roadway design see some of the other pages within this site.

If you have been the victim of a roadway drop-off, contact us.. See also the pages on Wikipedia for information on traffic collisions.

Dead Mans Curve Reveals Dangerous Roadway Facts

Dead mans curve is no overstatement. Many jurisdictions have winding, steep stretches of road where accidents have claimed the lives of unsuspecting drivers and passengers.  These stretches of road, sometimes called dead mans curve can indeed be fatal as reported by accident lawyer Brien Roche.

If you’ve been involved in an accident involving poor roadway design or failed safety design, there are facts you need to know:

Government agencies are charged with designing roads that are reasonably safe.  In that regard, roadways need what are called recovery zones so that an inattentive driver who meanders off the road has an opportunity to return to it safely.  Likewise, guardrails are necessary to redirect stray vehicles if there are nearby impediments that make reentry onto the road impossible.  Other such safety mechanism as rumble strips provide warning to drivers who have momentarily left the main travel surface.  In addition, adequate warnings of hazards are necessary to properly alert motorists to oncoming dangers.

Dead Mans Curve Can Be Contained Through Barriers

Guardrails which are seen alongside many of our roads and highway serve a dual purpose:  they tell the motorist of the course of the roadway ahead and they also serve as  a means of redirecting a vehicle back onto the pavement before it completely leaves the travel surface.  A guardrail may be required if a vehicle could be reasonably expected to leave the roadway and there is insufficient room for the driver to recover once he has left the roadway.

Jersey barriers serve a purpose similar to guardrails but they are typically only used in more congested areas.

A guardrail will fail to serve its purpose if the supporting vertical posts are too far apart thereby making the guardrail too weak to contain the vehicle.  Another common problem with guardrails is that they may become a mechanism for impaling a vehicle or its owners if the vehicle strikes the end of a guardrail.

Deadmans Curve Can Be Contained Through Banking

Engineers can determine the speed at which a curve can be safely travelled by using a ball-swing test.  This is simply a device that can be mounted on the engineer’s car and records the swing of a suspended ball as the car negotiates the curve at various speeds.  This may be a helpful test to perform to prove the negligence of the governmental entity that designed the roadway.

Another important aspect of highway design is proper banking.  Banking refers to the way that a road is tilted in order to compensate for the tendency of centrifugal force to cause  a vehicle to leave the roadway.  Defective banking may be a product of the age of the roadway which has resulted in the roadway sinking or it may be simply a result of poor design.

Publications Dealing With Highway Defect Cases

Some important publications that may be of assistance in evaluating cases like this are the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Maintenance Manual, the Roadside Design Guide, the Traffic Engineering Handbook and the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

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Highway Defect Cases

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Highway Defect Cases

Brien Roche

Roadway Drop-off Cases

Roadway drop off injuries arise in those instances where a vehicle leaves the travel portion of the roadway onto a sunken shoulder and the driver then attempts to reenter the roadway by pulling the front wheels at an unmanageable angle and the vehicle, in effect, slingshots across the road or rolls over.  A drop-off of two inches or sometimes even less can cause such loss of control.  On highways where the speed limit is 55 or more a drop-off of even one inch can cause fatal results.

There Are Standards That May Apply To Roadway Drop-Off Cases

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has stated that well-designed shoulders are needed on any roadway with an appreciable volume of traffic.  The typical motorist when confronted with a sudden drop-off will attempt to reenter the travel lane rather than simply going with the flow, i.e. proceeding straight ahead.

In handling a vehicle drop-off case it is important to identify the cause of the drop-off.  For instance, the drop-off may have been caused from tractor trailers running their wheels over the road edges, school buses or other delivery vehicles compacting a shoulder so as to cause a drop-off or a single rain storm, which could wear away a significant amount of loose material on the road’s edge.

It is critical to identify the source of the drop-off in order to identify the potentially at fault party.

Potential sources of  information in regards to the cause of the drop-off are:

  • Local residents who may have knowledge of the cause of the drop-off.
  • The applicable contracts and regulations dealing with the construction of the roadway.
  • The Federal Highway Administration’s Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices has sections dealing exclusively with drop-offs.
  • AASHTO publishes specifications, protocols and guidelines dealing with drop-offs.  In particular, their Green Book may be helpful.
  • The FHA’s Standard Specifications for Construction of Roads and Bridges on Federal Highway Projects provides some guidance on drop-offs.
  • The American Automobile Association has published a very comprehensive analysis of crash statistics that may likewise be helpful.

For more information about roadway drop off cases within the category of roadway design see some of the other pages within this site.

If you have been the victim of a roadway drop-off, contact us.. See also the pages on Wikipedia for information on traffic collisions.

Dead Mans Curve Reveals Dangerous Roadway Facts

Dead mans curve is no overstatement. Many jurisdictions have winding, steep stretches of road where accidents have claimed the lives of unsuspecting drivers and passengers.  These stretches of road, sometimes called dead mans curve can indeed be fatal as reported by accident lawyer Brien Roche.

If you’ve been involved in an accident involving poor roadway design or failed safety design, there are facts you need to know:

Government agencies are charged with designing roads that are reasonably safe.  In that regard, roadways need what are called recovery zones so that an inattentive driver who meanders off the road has an opportunity to return to it safely.  Likewise, guardrails are necessary to redirect stray vehicles if there are nearby impediments that make reentry onto the road impossible.  Other such safety mechanism as rumble strips provide warning to drivers who have momentarily left the main travel surface.  In addition, adequate warnings of hazards are necessary to properly alert motorists to oncoming dangers.

Dead Mans Curve Can Be Contained Through Barriers

Guardrails which are seen alongside many of our roads and highway serve a dual purpose:  they tell the motorist of the course of the roadway ahead and they also serve as  a means of redirecting a vehicle back onto the pavement before it completely leaves the travel surface.  A guardrail may be required if a vehicle could be reasonably expected to leave the roadway and there is insufficient room for the driver to recover once he has left the roadway.

Jersey barriers serve a purpose similar to guardrails but they are typically only used in more congested areas.

A guardrail will fail to serve its purpose if the supporting vertical posts are too far apart thereby making the guardrail too weak to contain the vehicle.  Another common problem with guardrails is that they may become a mechanism for impaling a vehicle or its owners if the vehicle strikes the end of a guardrail.

Deadmans Curve Can Be Contained Through Banking

Engineers can determine the speed at which a curve can be safely travelled by using a ball-swing test.  This is simply a device that can be mounted on the engineer’s car and records the swing of a suspended ball as the car negotiates the curve at various speeds.  This may be a helpful test to perform to prove the negligence of the governmental entity that designed the roadway.

Another important aspect of highway design is proper banking.  Banking refers to the way that a road is tilted in order to compensate for the tendency of centrifugal force to cause  a vehicle to leave the roadway.  Defective banking may be a product of the age of the roadway which has resulted in the roadway sinking or it may be simply a result of poor design.

Publications Dealing With Highway Defect Cases

Some important publications that may be of assistance in evaluating cases like this are the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Maintenance Manual, the Roadside Design Guide, the Traffic Engineering Handbook and the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation