Changes are needed to roads and highways to reduce auto and truck crashes

Deteriorating roadways in the United States are a major concern. We all hear politicians from different political ideology talk about investment in infrastructure to help us economically. However, fewer discuss the need for major updates to our roads for the safety of drivers and passengers of cars and trucks. A new report found that infrastructure investments have the potential to save 63,700 lives and prevent 353,560 serious injuries over a 20-year period if changes and updates were made to interstates and roads.

“Safety Benefits of Highway Infrastructure Investments” released earlier this month by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit research and education association, details key strategies to accomplish that goal. The report noted that the U.S. is ranked nearly last among developed countries in annual traffic fatalities. This fact should not be ignored. The report listed six items that the group recommends to greatly reduce car accident deaths and injures. They recommended that key intersections be turned into roundabouts, install roadside barriers and clear roadside objects, add sidewalks and signalized pedestrian crossings on majority of roads, install median barriers on divided highways, install shoulder and center line rumble strips, and pave and widen highway shoulders.

Inattentive driving is a big cause of car and truck accidents. The changes outlined in the report would help alleviate careless driving and make our roads safer. Several cities in Arkansas are putting roundabouts in new developments to help alleviate traffic congestion. I hear complaints about these intersections; however, I believe that as they become more common, people will not have issues with their use. Several people have told me that they hated roundabouts at first but they really enjoy them now. We should all do our part to tell our politicians to start making these changes for the good of our economy and our safety.

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