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Negligent Road Design Causes Car Accidents


Fort Pierce is known as the Sunrise City. It’s a great place to be whether during the winter holidays or summer for fun in the sun. But Fort Pierce, the Treasure Coast community, and other cities across the U.S. are not immune to negligent road design and road issues like potholes. This article will provide education in negligent road design, discuss how it can contribute to car accidents that result in personal injuries, and offer ways you can spot negligent road design.

What is Negligent Road Design?

Negligent road design occurs when there is a defect or flaw in the design of the road or street that makes it unsafe for drivers and pedestrians to resume normal driving and walking activities.

Negligent road design consists of substandard, poor or bad road and street conditions that include:

  • Inadequate street lighting;
  • Non-functioning traffic lights and signals;
  • Improper use of signage such as yield signs, for example;
  • Lack of drainage to prevent road flooding;
  • Slick pavement; and
  • Fallen trees

According to the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), America’s roads are described as overcrowded, in poor condition, underfunded, and finally, the roads are becoming more dangerous.

For a number of years, the U.S. has been consistent in receiving a grade of D for its road infrastructure. In fact, 1 out of every 5 miles of highway pavement is in poor condition and the roads have an increasing backlog of rehabilitation needs.

Negligent Road Design Affects Pedestrians Too

The 2019 Dangerous by Design report by Smart Growth America shows that roadways and streets are not getting safer, especially for pedestrians or those who walk. Pedestrian fatalities have been increasing because of poor road design.

The years 2016 and 2017 were the deadliest years for pedestrians since 1990. Studies show that between 2008 to 2017:

  • Pedestrian deaths increased by 35.4%;
  • Vehicle miles traveled increased by 8.1%; and
  • Walking increased by 1%.

Smart Growth America states that these statistics are occurring because the design of streets and roadways have not changed and that the streets that are continuing to be designed are dangerous for everyone.

Not only does negligent road design cause motor vehicle accidents, they also affect pedestrians and often result in wrongful death.

How to Identify Negligent Road Design

It is important to be aware of what negligent road design looks like. This way, the road or street can be avoided and reported to the city for repair.

There are many ways in which a road design can be negligent or poorly created. Besides the poor road conditions noted above, the following can also aid in identifying poor road design:

  • Blind curbs;
  • Short exit ramps;
  • Roads with narrow shoulders or no shoulders;
  • Lack of medians and barriers;
  • No guardrails;
  • Bad intersection with history of crashes;
  • Previously marked lanes which are now fading; and
  • Narrow bridge design.

To report poorly maintained roads, you can submit a Road Maintenance Request Form to St. Lucie County and contact the City of Fort Pierce for minor repairs and maintenance of a sidewalk, roadway, pothole, curb or gutter by calling the Streets and Drainage Division at 772-467-3795.

Suffering from an Injury Caused by Negligent Road Design in Fort Pierce? Call Sholtes Law.

If you received an injury due to negligent road design, contact Andrew Sholtes, a Fort Pierce car accident lawyer serving St. Lucie & Martin County. Our firm focuses on personal injury law and we work hard to protect the interests of the Fort Pierce community members and put them first. Call Sholtes Law for a complimentary case analysis at 855-534-2509.



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