Study Probes States Where Poor Road Design Endangers Drivers Most

January 24, 2024

A study of more than 100 fatal accidents in the U.S. every year where inadequate road design is a related factor shows Arkansas is the worst state for poor road design followed by Alaska and North Dakota.

The study analyzed National Highway Travel Safety Administration data on fatal crashes where poor road design, such as inadequate warning of exits, obscured pavement marking and inadequate construction, was recorded as a contributing factor to the accident.

Arkansas topped the list as between 2017 and 2021 with 101 fatal crashes where poor road design was a contributing factor out of 2,664 fatal crashes in total, meaning 3.79% of deadly collisions in the state involved difficulties with road design.

The study attributes poor road design as a factor in 2.52% of fatal crashes in Alaska, making it the second highest ranked state in the list. North Dakota was third in the list with 1.06% of fatal crashes involving inadequate road design.

Other states on the list included Wisconsin, with 28 crashes where road design was a related factor between 2017 and 2021, which is 1.02% of the 2,746 fatal crashes in total. Illinois was fifth place on the list with 50 of its 5,183 fatal crashes over the five year period related to sub-standard road design, which equates to a percentage of 0.96%.

Other states where high on the list where poor road design led to fatal crashes included Wyoming, Maine, Kentucky, Minnesota and Tennessee.

The study by Dismuke Law found that nationally there were 672 fatal crashes where poor road design was a related factor, with the highest number coming in 2020, when 167 accidents were recorded in the category.

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