Devastating Accidents Caused by Unsafe Roadways

The declining physical condition of U.S. roadways is well documented. In fact, a recent report card by a professional engineering association assigned a D+ grade to our nation’s highway infrastructure. In a recent blog post, Langdon & Emison attorney Adam Graves highlights the many problems that plague roadways and the devastating accidents that can occur as a result.

“Defective highway shoulders have been cited as a major cause of severe accidents involving injuries and fatalities on roadways nationwide,” said Graves. “A common cause of highway shoulder accidents is pavement edge drop-offs, which occur when there are uneven height differences between the travel lane and shoulder.”

Nearly 11,000 people are injured and 160 lives are lost annually in crashes related to unsafe pavement edges. According to Graves, a highway shoulder is defective if there is an unsafe drop-off between the edge of the roadway pavement and the shoulder.

When vehicles veer off the roadway and encounter a defective highway shoulder, drivers tend to overcorrect to return to the travel lane, often causing them to lose control of the vehicles and sometimes collide with oncoming traffic.

Often, motorists will encounter unsafe pavement edge drop-offs in construction zones involving highway resurfacing. Despite national guidelines that establish standards for a safe edge drop-off height, contractors still fail to provide a proper transition to the shoulder.

Nearly 11,000 people are injured and 160 people are killed annually in crashes related to unsafe pavement edges. Graves said the entities that own, construct and maintain America’s roadways have a responsibility to ensure they are safe for the traveling public and perform as intended.

About Langdon & Emison

Langdon & Emison is recognized as one of the nation’s leading law firms, having taken on some of the world’s largest corporations in personal injury litigation. With offices in Lexington and Kansas City (Mo.), St. Louis, and Chicago, the firm represents injured people and their families in courtrooms from coast to coast. During 30 years of practice, the firm has earned a national reputation as a leader in auto defect cases, trucking accidents and a full array of personal injury litigation.

About Adam Graves

Adam Graves is a partner at Langdon & Emison. An experienced litigator, Adam handles complex product liability claims in cases across the country and has taken multiple cases to verdict in favor of his clients. He is a critical member of Langdon & Emison’s trial team, having been involved in multiple high-profile cases with a national footprint, including the Ford/Firestone litigation and other cases involving defective products. Adam represents clients in personal injury litigation throughout the United States and in federal court.