Who doesn’t love the John Denver song “Country Roads?” Come on, all, sing along - “Country roads … take me home … to the place … I belong …”
Okay, maybe we’re not all songbirds. However, country roads are mostly charming, beautiful and scenic places - that can often prove to have their own unique dangers to the pedestrians and drivers that go through them. In fact, according to this website, almost 60% of all fatalities in the United States occur on country roads.
So, if you’re in charge of safety on these country roads, what are the best type of strategies you can use to prevent accidents on them?
Here are some suggestions:
1) Use “winding road signs”
Country roads are oftentimes full of sharp and dangerous turns that could prove to be hazardous to drivers on them. If your road contains these sharp curves, it’s a good idea to strategically place “winding road” signs along the route. These “winding road” signs will alert drivers to the dangerous curves that may lie ahead, allowing them to effectively manage their speed and their attention for the drive.
2) Effectively gauge the speed limits
Country roads should not be the Autobahn. With pedestrians sometimes strolling on them, the dangerous curves and - oftentimes - the lack of perfect lighting, judicious speed limits are often times the way to go with the country roads. Take a very careful look at the limits and decide - with plenty of input - what the peak speed should be on those roads.
3) Add in flexible barriers and rumble strips
If you have a high-risk road, try installing a flexible barrier on them. These can reduce the risk of fatalities on off-road accidents and head-on collisions. Additionally, rumble strips can prove to be an effective deterrent for motorists who may be speeding on these isolated country roads. Check out our traffic control equipment.
4) Invest in road maintenance
It may seem obvious - but the better maintained the roads are, the less accidents you’ll have. For any older country roads that may not have kept up with the times, encourage the type of preventive maintenance that can fix all of the problems (potholes, wear and tear, etc.) that may eventually lead to the type of accidents everyone wants to try to avoid. This may prove to be a challenge in an area of tight budgets, but the selling point - spend more money now in order to avoid trouble later - is one that people should respond to.
5) Encourage anti-drunk driving efforts
Alcohol impaired driving accounts for one third (29%) of all road fatalities in the US. Drunk driving is a dangerous plague that causes an enormous amount of accidents - and fatalities - every year. In rural areas that may not be staffed with an adequate amount of police to cover the entire road area, drunk driving from local pubs and establishments is a special problem. Work with local police to determine the problem areas, problem roads and problem locations, and develop strategies (designated drivers, transportation services, etc.) to discourage drunk driving from happening on these winding and dangerous country roads.