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Gov't pushes for technology that can reduce fatal highway crashes

Karns & Kerrison

Rhode Island drivers may be interested in one innovation in highway construction that can lead to a reduction in highway fatalities. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration is recommending that states develop new standards for using this technology in all of their new highway paving projects.

Safety Edge is a particular way to create the edge of the pavement that allows for the elimination of a phenomenon known as "tire scrubbing." Without Safety Edge, the pavement drops off at a 90-degree angle on the side of the road. When a driver reaches the side of the road, tire scrubbing can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle when it leaves the pavement. According to some studies, the fatality rate for pavement drop-off crashes can be four times higher than other car accidents.

Safety Edge eliminates this problem by creating a durable 30-degree edge that eliminates the drop-off. The pavement is shaped properly with the right amount of compression using the device and the shoulder is built flush with the edge of the pavement. According to statistics, use of Safety Edge can lead to a 6-percent reduction in crashes. The DOT also says that Safety Edge is very cost effective when compared to the number of accidents that it helps drivers avoid.

While Safety Edge may help to prevent fatal car crashes, it cannot eliminate the danger. When a negligent or reckless driver causes an accident and injures another driver, the injured party may be able to take the responsible driver to court. An attorney may be able to assist them in analyzing the situation and determining who is at fault. The attorney might then be able to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for any injuries and property damage caused in the crash.

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