Skip to content

How does road design impact safety?

You have probably noticed that there are roads in the area that have far more accidents than others. While there are many reasons why a road may be more prone to accidents, one factor often overlooked is the road design. 

According to the National Law Review, a road design should match the traffic flow, types of vehicles and other factors to avoid safety risks. Engineers also should incorporate special features in the road design that help to adress common issues and reduce accidents. 


In some cases, adding barriers in the median can help prevent accidents. If a road often has accidents due to vehicles crossing the center line, barriers in the median can stop them from happening. Adding barriers is something an engineer can do after completing the road, and it is a way to address issues that come up over time. 

Rumble strips

Another addition engineers can make to an existing road during an upgrade or to new designs is rumble strips. These run along the edges of the road and help drivers to know when they leave their lanes. They work especially nice in areas where drivers have long commutes and may drive when drowsy. 

Traffic flow adjustment

In some cases, the flow of traffic does not work well and is the main cause of accidents. In these situations, engineers can redesign aspects of the roadway to better conduct the flow of traffic. For example, installing a roundabout could clear up congestion in an area that currently has traffic lights. Another example is putting in a new exit ramp, which could help clear up congestion on the main road and on the side roads. 

Engineers have to think about safety when designing roads or making upgrades. They have a lot of power to prevent accidents through the decisions they make.