As gas prices rise and traffic accidents remain a problem, state and local-level departments of transportation are looking for solutions to improve driving conditions and help drivers remain safe. These solutions often change the way roads are constructed in order to improve on existing designs and make highways better.
Local and state agencies around the country have come to rely on traffic cones and signs to warn drivers of potential hazards or existing conditions. Many are conducting research into how better to better manage placement of these signs for optimal safety. In addition, Trans-Supply, a supplier of traffic safety equipment, notes that traffic advisory boards and other indicators of upcoming problems can help improve traffic flow.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that about one third of all highway fatalities can be attributed to poor road conditions. In addition, roads that are not smooth cause cars to lose efficiency, which means that they expend more fuel to travel the same distance. Efforts to improve road conditions include using asphalt mixes that hold up better to normal traffic wear and tear.
One such road material known as rubberized asphalt is already being used in some states around the country. This particular asphalt blend relies on recycled tires to improve drivability, reduce traffic noise and increase the longevity of roads. These improvements, though small in some cases, can add up when one considers the number of miles that are driven every year.
Intersections are danger zones for drivers, which is why so many departments and agencies are trying to make them safer by changing their design. Roundabouts are one way in which states are replacing traditional stoplight intersections with a design that improves safety and traffic flow. Other such experiments include eliminating left turns in dangerous intersections by replacing them with new U-turn or diverging diamond systems.
As these advances in technology and design become widespread, drivers can look forward to safer and better travel.