Auto accidents are often the fault of distracted, drowsy or impaired drivers. But some accidents involve none of these factors, and may instead be the result of poor or unfavorable road conditions.
When roads are improperly designed or maintained — or when hazards make them unsafe — accidents are more likely to occur. Bad roads not only damage vehicles, but they also can lead to life-threatening injuries for you and your passengers.
The Degrading State of U.S. Roads and Bridges
Bad road conditions are a problem throughout the country, including many areas of Idaho.
A 2014 Federal Highway Administration report revealed that at least 45 percent of the major roads and federal highways in the United States were not in good shape. This means that more than 150,000 miles of our nation’s roads are in need of attention.
In addition to crumbling roads, our country is riddled with unsafe bridges. About 12 percent of our bridges — more than 71,000 in total — are rated as structurally deficient. Even scarier, another 78,000 bridges across the nation are rated as functionally obsolete.
Common Road Issues that Lead to Auto Accidents
Wet or icy road conditions contribute to many auto accidents, particularly when roads lack proper drainage.
Driving over potholes or on uneven roads that need resurfacing also can lead to accidents. But even roads that have been resurfaced can be hazardous, as the temporary and less expensive “oil and chip” method often used can make roads slipperier.
Other accidents occur as a result of poorly designed roads.
Blind curves, shoulder drop-offs, narrow roads and dangerous intersections are common issues. In addition, some roads or freeways may have poorly painted lines or missing signs.
Objects on or near the road, such as improperly placed construction barriers, uncovered water drains and fallen trees or utility poles, also increase the likelihood of accidents.
Drivers are expected to pay close attention while on the road, always keeping an eye out for potentially poor road conditions.
Consequently, any driver involved in an accident may share in or even shoulder all responsibility for the event. In some cases, however, the individuals and companies tasked with building and maintaining roads may be held liable.
For example, a municipality may be held responsible if adequate measures were not taken to address an intersection or stretch of road with a high accident rate. Or, the engineer who designed the road could be held liable for its dangerous design.
Other defendants, such as road crews or construction companies, may also be named in lawsuits for auto accidents.
A qualified attorney can make sure that fault for an accident is properly assigned and that the correct parties are held liable for any damage and injuries that occur.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an incident related to poor road or bridge conditions, the Montgomery Dowdle can help. Located in Boise, Idaho, we have more than 35 years’ experience in protecting the rights of those injured by the negligence of others.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss any matter related to auto accidents and injuries.