Tips to Prevent Accidents
Common sense is one of the most important line items in county and municipal budgets. Many local governments experience a reduction in accidents after making low-cost, sensible safety improvements—in some cases, reducing the number of crashes by one-third. Here are four common contributors to crashes and some tips to prevent car accidents.
1. Ensure your traffic signs are unobstructed.
These signs are useless if motorists can’t see them. Make sure all STOP signs are visible and recognizable from a reasonable distance for drivers to react. At 55 mph, a vehicle needs 49 feet to slow to a stop; at 35 mph, the distance is 250 feet. If a hill or curve blocks the view, place an advance warning sign, STOP AHEAD. Trim vegetation or remove objects that block STOP signs, and replace STOP signs that are difficult to see at night with retroreflective signs.
2. Remove fixed objects close to the road.
These objects account for many crashes, and trees account for 15% of all fatal crashes. Trees growing close to a road, especially on curves, hills and high-speed roads, are hazardous, so consider a separation project. Make sure all signposts are breakaway and mailboxes are mounted on crash-worthy supports. Remove private signs and fence posts from the right-of-way. If you cannot remove a fixed object, install an object marker to warn motorists. Note: For vegetation on private land, notify nearby property owners before taking action.
3. Remedy sharp road curves with paved shoulders or signage.
4. Fix edge drops.
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