When you’re driving, you expect the road to be in good condition so that you don’t have any unexpected problems. But roads aren’t always properly maintained, or sometimes other factors have caused wear and poor conditions, like bad weather. These poor road conditions could lead to serious accidents.
Of course, there are solutions to poor road conditions. That way, drivers can feel safe again and know that the road beneath them is properly maintained. Let’s take a look at what are considered poor road conditions, how they can affect drivers, and the solutions that can fix and prevent hazards on the road.
What Are Poor Road Conditions?
When you hear poor road conditions, you might initially only think of potholes and bad weather. But there are other factors that play into bad roads, like the layout of streets and their accessibility for cars, bikes, and pedestrians alike. All of these factors play into how easily people can exist on these roads and how many accidents occur.
Traveling should be as easy and painless as possible for everyone on the road, which is why poor road conditions are so damaging—they create more traffic from confusing navigation as well as collisions because drivers are more preoccupied with avoiding poor conditions than actually driving. Here are some of the dangerous conditions that could be present on Maryland roads:
- Poor visibility around corners
- Narrow streets
- Poor spaces for pedestrians
- No specified crosswalks
- Lack of bike lanes or space for bikes
- Confusing signs
- Hard to spot signs
- Not enough signs
- Damaged guardrails
- Malfunctioning stoplights
- Defective railroad crossings
- Ice and snow
- Wet roads
- Steep shoulders
- Work zones
- Fresh oil and chips
All of these conditions make it harder to drive your vehicle. Roads can be too cramped, have low visibility for traffic lights or around corners, have poor signage, or are just poorly laid out, and can cause you to have trouble navigating through a city or rural area.
When you are more focused on your surroundings because of poor conditions, that could cause a distracted driving accident, bike accident, or a pedestrian accident. Whereas poor road conditions that deal with the road being poorly maintained and facing hazards could lead to car accidents as well as single-vehicle accidents.
With all these dangerous conditions on the roads, it’s important to know if there are solutions that could improve roads and keep them as safe as possible. The good news is that there are.
Solutions to Those Poor Road Conditions
Below, you’ll find a list of solutions to the problem of poor road conditions. Many of these solutions will be handled by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) since they’re in charge of most roadways in the state, which means it will be up to them to seek out the problems and effectively fix them.
Here are some of the ways poor road conditions can be fixed and potentially prevented, depending on the condition:
- Proper city planning
- No parking within 25 feet of a corner
- Widen the street or make it one way instead
- Marked and visible pedestrian crossings
- Clear sidewalks
- Bike lanes
- Updated and visible signs
- Easily interpreted signs
- Regular road maintenance
- Repainting and repairing roads often
- Repaired railroad crossings and proper lighting
- Salted roads in winter
- Other preventative measures for bad weather
- Warning signs for construction
In cases of road hazards that can cause accidents, prevention is often the most cost-effective method for cities and states because it can deter these conditions from happening and thus cost less in repairs in the long run. Many of the solutions listed above would fall under prevention, because they would keep the conditions from happening.
Some of these measures double as solutions and prevention. Roadway repairs can be considered both because while the repair is a solution to the problem, keeping up with the repairs is a form of prevention from the condition reappearing.
Mainly, vigilance and action from MDOT are the best solutions—they enact change and keep drivers and other safe.
How to Report Dangerous Roads in Maryland
When you’ve experienced a poor road condition, whether it led to an accident or not, you should report that hazard so that it can be corrected and others don’t have the same experience. In many cases, the Maryland Department of Transportation is responsible for these roads, which means you’ll need to report the dangerous road to them.
You can find a list of different contacts within MDOT here. From there, you can determine exactly which type of issue you’re facing with this road condition and whose help you need from their list.
One of the most important things to know is if MDOT is actually responsible for that road. You can check here if MDOT is responsible for a road you’re attempting to report and have improved. If MDOT is not responsible, then you’ll likely need to inquire locally about whether the road is publicly or privately owned and who is responsible for the maintenance.
For example, in the city limits of Baltimore, their roads are maintained by the Baltimore City Department of Transportation instead of MDOT. In that case, you’ll need to contact Baltimore City DOT instead of the state.
If those conditions cause you to get into a collision of any kind and sustain injuries in Baltimore or other areas of Maryland, then you could use the help of a personal injury lawyer from Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC.
Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC Will Help You
When you’ve been in an accident that was caused by a dangerous condition on a road, you could use the help of one of the personal injury lawyers from our firm. There are various different types of claims you could file depending on what you experienced, which is why it is important for you to reach out to us—we’ll be able to help you determine exactly which type of claim your collision falls under.
At Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC, we’re dedicated to fighting for victims and getting them justice. Reach out to our office today so we can schedule a free consultation and get started working for you right away.