West Virginia is among many states that undergo an annual road-construction season that puts up orange barrels in the spring and often leaves them generally in place until well into the fall months. Construction zone delays and backups generally are handled with postings warning drivers to expect backups and delays. A recent study done in Missouri suggests there is a much better way to handle construction zones and other commonly occurring traffic backups and prevent motor vehicle accidents.
Adaptive traffic-speed data improves safety
The Missouri Department of Transportation recently commissioned a study done by the University of Missouri to determine the effectiveness of providing real-time data on traffic speeds in upcoming construction zones to reduce MVA rates. The data shows the actual speed of traffic in the upcoming construction zones, which enables drivers to adjust their relative speed to better match traffic conditions ahead. The results show a significant reduction in MVA events, including a 30 percent reduction in rear-end collisions and a 20 percent drop in accidents related to lane changes.
Improved traffic flow and shorter backups
Because drivers effectively could adjust their speed prior to reaching the congested sections, they had a much easier time of merging into traffic, which flows more smoothly. They also could identify congested areas more readily without having to radically adjust speed or risk rear-ending another vehicle. The average traffic speed in construction zones was higher and the area affected shorter in distance, which greatly helps to improve safety.
Study affirms liability of driver behavior
While the study shows adaptive data on traffic congestions improves traffic flow and safety, it also shows drivers are the single biggest factor in traffic safety. That is especially true in construction zones and other stretches of roadway that are backed up or otherwise affected by local conditions that slow traffic. It shows drivers must make reasonable adjustments to prevent accidents and improve travel conditions for all motorists. Whenever injured in an accident, an experienced attorney can review your case and help you to obtain the best settlement.