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Preventing Head-On Collisions

USA- Roadsbridges.com writes that rural roads lead to many of the nation’s deadliest crashes. Some data suggests that 90 percent of deadly collisions take place on two-lane roads. Many of the most devastating incidents on these roads are head-on collisions. Thousands of people are killed in these instances each year, highlighting the need for infrastructure […]

Preventing head-on collisions

Preventing head on collisions

USA- Roadsbridges.com writes that rural roads lead to many of the nation’s deadliest crashes. Some data suggests that 90 percent of deadly collisions take place on two-lane roads. Many of the most devastating incidents on these roads are head-on collisions.

Thousands of people are killed in these instances each year, highlighting the need for infrastructure that will prevent drivers from drifting out of their lanes.

One method of preventing head-on impacts is a centerline rumble strip, which is similar to the rumble strips that are often on the shoulder of the roadway. These strips involve indentations on the pavement that alert drivers when they drift outside of their lane. These features can effectively prevent some head-on impacts on two-lane roads. However, while they may be able to stop drivers from drifting into oncoming traffic because of inattentiveness, they will not help in the event that a vehicle loses traction because of ice or wet pavement, or when a driver loses control of their vehicle because they overcorrect after veering too far off the side of the road.

States that installed this traffic feature were able to report a decline in head-on crashes and crash-related fatalities. In Delaware, the feature was associated with a 95 percent drop in head-on collisions and a 60 percent decrease in all centerline crossover crashes. In Colorado, a more modest 34 percent decline in head-on impacts was reported following the installation of this feature. California and Massachusetts showed promising results from centerline rumble strips as well.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has studied the impact of centerline rumble strips and found a fourteen percent drop in collisions on roads with this feature. While there are some drawbacks, centerline rumble strips appear to be a low cost and effective way to reduce these traffic accidents.


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