In the U.S., poor road conditions are a major contributing factor in a third of all traffic fatalities.
Obstacles and poor road conditions such as potholes, debris, poor or nonexistent lighting are often to blame for crashes that result in human fatalities.
Thankfully, things are looking up.
Many states across the U.S. are increasing funding for better roads. Line items like salt for winter roads, asphalt for filling in potholes and payroll increases for hiring extra road workers are helping to improve road safety across the country.
So how do better roads improve your chances behind the wheel?
Here are some ways the better roads can change the dismal statistics of the past:
As the following article looks at, an organization called DriveBetterRoads makes push for more highway funding has taken upon itself to convince legislators to add $100 million into improving American roads and highways.
Founded by the Associated General Contractors of America, the Drive Better Roads campaign has highlighted the need for better road signage, among others.
Signage is a critical component of highway and road safety.
Without enough notice of exits on freeways, light signals ahead, or merging traffic lanes, more crashes would happen on American roads.
As it stands, Americans are nearly entirely dependent on motorized vehicles for mobility. When you have almost every family with two or more cars, it’s critical that they are able to get where they’re going with as much safety as possible.
In fact, the average automobile driver spends about $444 in vehicle repairs annually, due at least in part to potholes.
When a driver hits a pothole, it can send a shockwave through the vehicle that takes the driver by surprise, causing them to swerve suddenly into the next lane. That abrupt swerve can cause a collision or confusion on the highway from other drivers.
In another scenario, a pothole can knock your wheels out of alignment. Wheels that are out of alignment can cause drivers’ steering to be off, further increasing the chances for a collision.
The other thing that a pothole can do is to cause a flat tire, oftentimes a blow out or a flat that can’t be repaired. If you’re a woman driving alone, a flat tire in the middle of the night on a lonely stretch of highway is particularly unnerving.
Lane markings, stripings, and reflectors are very necessary parts of road safety. Without them, cars can veer off the road completely, drift into other lanes, and miss turn lanes.
Reflectors make night time driving a lot easier, not only for the driver, but for any pedestrians who might be walking along the roadway.
Roadway lighting is another important component to highway safety, especially at interchanges, and at off-ramps and on-ramps, and in places where the road turns sharply.
All of these components of road safety cost money and take time to build into the nation’s road system.
Thanks to the efforts of different groups and people concerned about safety, they are all possible.
Photo credit: Thinkstock.com
About the Author: Kate Supino is a proponent of safe driving