Importance of quality of roads to minimize accidents
Every year, the metropolitan cities in India see a significant rise in the number of vehicles on road. For instance, the country’s capital New Delhi itself recorded a 4% increase in the number of vehicles on road in March 2021, according to the Delhi Economic Survey taken last year. Naturally, the increase in vehicles on the road inherently leads to problems like traffic congestion, road accidents, fuel consumption etc.
To address all these problems, a full-proof road planning is required so as to avoid any mishaps. Thus, above all, road safety remains one of the primary factors to consider in road planning for architects and engineers, such as those at Consulting Engineers’ Association of India (CEAI).
According to a World Bank report published in 2021, India accounts for a whopping 11% of global death in road accidents. Although, what perplexes us is the fact that the country records as many deaths despite having only 1% of the world’s vehicles. The report also mentions that 4.5 lakh road accidents are recorded every year in India, in which 1.5 lakh people face death.
That means, the country witnesses 53 road crashes every hour, killing one person every four minutes which is ghastly.
Surveys have proved that the installation of roundabouts at intersections results in a significant 87% reduction in road accidents. Moreover, roundabouts also clear the confusion regarding the right-of-way and thus, the problem of congestion also gets resolved automatically.
We often see white-painted rumble strips on major routes, especially on highways in patches where drivers often get caught off-guard. As soon as a vehicle’s tyres cross the rumble strips, a loud noise is produced and the vehicle vibrates enough to alert the driver about lane departures and if any other vehicles are approaching from a blind spot.
Duration of Traffic Signals
This is often one of the most discussed topics when it comes to road safety. Running red lights is a very common offense, especially in India. But it can be addressed and resolved by simply fixing the duration of the yellow traffic signal by a second or two. This gives motor vehicle drivers ample time to slow down and ultimately come to a halt. That way, the problem of car crashes is also reduced significantly
Establishment of proper walkways on both sides of the road results in harmony between pedestrians and motor vehicles. Elevated walkways along the road with a width of four feet are ideal in ensuring maximum safety for pedestrians as they can walk without being anxious of speeding vehicles. It is also true vice versa as drivers can move along the road without being anxious of pedestrians walking down the middle of the road.
Ever since roadway engineers began installing median barriers to divide opposing traffic across the roads, considerably lower cases of cross-median accidents have been reported. Very often, we come across these orange median barriers indicating the division of roads, diversions and even at certain intersections. The fluorescent orange shade along with the two reflecting strips often catch the attention of drivers and alerts them of the division of road ahead.
There are several factors that lead to road accidents. It’s never just about the design and structure of the road, but also largely dependent upon the attentiveness and expertise of the drivers. Additionally, the weather also plays an important role in most of the road accident cases.
Therefore, roadway engineers constantly look at improving the safety measures for roads and build effective designs that reduce, if not totally nullify, the risk of accidents. To ensure the roadways are designed in the most immaculate way possible, the engineer must consider every planning objective which often involves micro-managing certain things such as the viewpoint of a motor vehicle driver. Better traffic control systems, safe passage for emergency medical service, reduction of traffic congested areas count as major factors in determining the safety of roads. Here’s a list of some of the most common yet effective practices to ensure road safety.
Taking into consideration the human errors and climatic conditions, it is a challenge for roadway engineers to construct the best possible road transport system that directly makes an impact on the economy of a given place. Automobile crashes remain one of the leading causes of death around the world. Hence, roadway engineers must plan new roads that are designed to enhance the safety of everyone.
If you found this article useful, you must head over to the official website of Consulting Engineers Association of India for more such insightful content.