Road Design Defects and Maintenance Defects

It is important to act quickly to determine if a road design defect or maintenance defect caused or contributed to your accident. Public agencies and the private contractors they hire may be liable if the road is unsafe.

The agencies that design and maintain roads and highways, and the private contractors they hire, have a duty to ensure that roads are safe for motorists who use reasonable care. When roads are designed, they should be done in anticipation that cars, trucks, and other vehicles, may skid, slide, be cut off, or run off the side of curved roads, and that drivers may fall asleep or be distracted and lose control of their vehicles.

Roadways need recovery zones, so that an inattentive driver who goes off the road can safely return to it. Guardrails are also needed to redirect out-of-control vehicles if steep embankments or objects like rocks, poles, or trees make recovery impossible. Road and highway agencies must create curves that can be navigated even if drivers exceed the posted speed limit. Curves must be banked so that even poor drivers can traverse them without losing control of their vehicles.

Crash Cushions

Government agencies should provide impact attenuators, also known as crash cushions, to reduce the damage done to vehicles and motorists from a motor vehicle collision.  Crash cushions are usually filled with sand or water, and are designed to absorb the out-of-control vehicle’s kinetic energy and redirect the vehicle away from hazards such as bridge supports and the ends of guardrails. Temporary versions of crash cushions are sometimes used for road construction projects.

Truck-mounted crash cushions can be attached to vehicles that are prone to being struck from behind, like snowplows, road construction, or maintenance vehicles. If the appropriate government agency or private contractor does not adhere to these design principles, they may be liable.

Highway Warnings

Public agencies and the private contractors they hire also have a duty to exercise reasonable care to warn motorists of highway defects and unsafe areas, such as dangerous curves and highway construction zones. They may also have a duty to install rumble strips or grooves to warn motorists when running off the road or approaching a dangerous curve.

Signs and other traffic control devices can malfunction or be knocked over or destroyed. Public agencies have a duty to properly maintain their roads and can be held liable if they fail to do so. In such cases, it may be necessary to prove that the public agency had notice of the condition, such as a malfunctioning light, and had a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem.

Taking Prompt Action After an Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, please contact me as soon as possible following the accident.  It is important that action be taken right away to preserve evidence for your claim, and to have an investigation conducted before accident conditions change.  Witness should also be interviewed while the accident is still fresh in their memory.

Call Us – We Are Experienced in Helping Those Injured by Road Design Defects

We will meet with you for a private consultation, and after learning about your case, we can tell you about the alternatives available for seeking recovery, and how we will fight vigorously on your behalf to prove your case.


16020 Swingley Ridge Rd., Suite 340
St. Louis, MO 63017

Contact Us 888.586.7041

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