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Montana road safety audits used to make road improvements

As a previous post discussed, Montana accidents are not only caused by the negligence of a motorist, but also could be related to the design of the road. Because of that, accident investigation is a critical step to take, properly assessing the cause of a car accident. When a road design flaw compromises road safety, state and local jurisdictions could be held liable for the accidents caused by it. Moreover, changes to the road or intersection will be required to promote safety and prevent future accident from occurring.

A road safety audit is a formal safety performance examination that assesses currently exiting roads and intersections, as well as future roads and intersections. The purpose of the safety audit is to accurately estimate and report potential safety issues. Additionally, this process identifies ways to make improvements in safety that will benefit all users.

The end of a road safety audit typically answers two questions. First, the safety audit will determine what elements present a safety concern, to what extent, to which user and under what conditions. And, second, the safety audit will determine what opportunities currently exist to eliminate or mitigate the safety concerns that were identified.

If a specific intersection or road curve has resulted in multiple car accidents, a road safety audit might determine that changes are required to prevent future incidents. An intersection might require new signals, turn lanes or new pavement markings to help safely guide drivers. A curved road might require widening or a guardrail to prevent a driver from going off the road.

If a dangerous intersection or a road design flaw were contributing factors in an accident, those harmed in the car accident could hold the state or local jurisdiction liable for the incident. A personal injury claim could help the injured victim recover compensation for their losses and damages. Moreover, an accident investigation could be used to make safety changes to prevent future accidents from occurring.

Source: Safety.FHWA.DoT.gov, "Road Safety Audits (RSA)," accessed on Feb. 7, 2016

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