Delco Departure

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Roadway Departure Crashes : Causes and Safety Measures

Roadway departure crashes occur when a vehicle travels off the road or out of their proper lane and causes an accident. This type of accident is often severe and the majority of fatalities on the highway occur from this type of accident. In 2009, roadway departure crashes accounted for 53% of all fatal crashes that occurred in the United States.

Causes of Roadway Departure Crashes

There are many reasons that a roadway departure can be so detrimental. This includes the fact that a vehicle is usually traveling at a higher rate of speed when they crash into an off road object. These are some of the items that may be hit by a car that ventures off the roadway:

• Moving Vehicle: when a vehicle swerves in front of another and the driver moves out of the lane to miss the oncoming car.

• Overturn: a driver over corrects or the road conditions are bad and the vehicle flips. This can also be caused by debris on the road.

• Trees and shrubs: a driver hits a tree or shrub after veering off the roadway.

• Post or Pole: driver crashes into a pole after leaving the roadway

• Barrier: driver crashes into a road barrier when leaving the roadway

• Embankment: an embankment may be at a high enough or low enough slant to cause a vehicle to roll.

• Other fixed objects: there are many permanent, fixed objects on the sides of roads that can be hazardous to a vehicle that suddenly veers off the roadway.

Safety Measures to Reduce the Number of Roadway Departure Crashes

There are several things that can be done on a roadway in order to decrease the number of off road crashes that occur. The first and most important is the road safety audit. This should be done at least once a year on every major roadway within a city. The audit can help estimate the potential dangers of the road and make suggestions for increasing the safety.

Installing rumble strips on the side and the middle of the road can help lower the number of roadway departure crashes as well. These strips serve as a warning sign and can help the driver know that they are leaving the safety of the road. A rumble strip can help with night time driving when the edges of the road become more difficult to see.

A median barrier is used to provide a separation between opposing traffic along a divided highway. While a median barrier may result in a car crashing into it, the barrier will reduce the number of cross median crashes. It also reduces the severity of median related crashes as well.

The best way to reduce the number of roadway departure crashes is through driver education. When driving it is extremely important to always pay attention. Being distracted by cell phones, the radio, other devices, or even passengers is one of the main causes of an off road accident. Limit the distractions while driving to increase safety.

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