Road-departure crashes are the most common and deadly of all
Each year road departure crashes account for more than half of the highway fatalities in the United States. This type of crash is defined as one in which a vehicle crosses an edge line, a center line, or otherwise leaves the traveled roadway.
According to the Federal Highway Administration three types of road departure crashes account for more than 70% of all road departure fatal crashes:
- Overturns: 30% of fatal road departure crashes include an overturned vehicle, and 43% of fatalities happen at a curve in the roadway.
- Opposing direction: 23% of fatal road-departure crashes involve the situation when one vehicle crosses a centerline or median and hits another vehicle. These sometimes result in head-on collisions that can subject the vehicle occupants to devastating impact at high speeds.
- Crash into trees/shrubs: 19% of fatal road-departure crashes involve a collision with trees or shrubs on the side of the traveled roadway; 48% of fatalities in these crashes happen where the speed limit is 45 mph or less.
How can the number of road-departure accidents be reduced?
There are several strategies that when enacted will reduce the number and severity of road-departure crashes, including:
- better barriers between opposing lanes of travel;
- rumble strips on center and side lines;
- friction treatments on road curves to improve traction;
- clear zones on roadsides.
How to help someone injured in a serious road-departure accident
Since these types of accidents tend to be more serious and result in critical or fatal injuries, it is crucial to find an experienced injury lawyer to handle an insurance claim. Even in cases where at first glance an accident seems to be the fault of the driver, there are often other parties that have contributed to the collision and who are potential sources of financial settlement. For example, when someone is hurt in a road-departure crash into a tree, an injury lawyer can assess whether a faulty road design or maintenance issue contributed to the crash.
Thomas Killion, 66, injured in a single-vehicle rollover accident off of Missouri 17 in West Plains, Missouri
Linda Hudson, 73, injured when the car she was in left the highway and hit an embankment and a fence along Highway 76 near Ava, Missouri
John N. Grasmick, 57, died from injuries following a single-vehicle crash with a utility pole at Williamstown Road and Lakedale Road in Winslow, New Jersey
Kansas City, MO
Patricia Richey, 69, seriously injured in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 13 in Johnson County, Missouri
St. Louis, MO
Gregory Harris, 59, seriously injured after his vehicle impacted the concrete median twice on Interstate 270 in St. Louis County, Missouri
Matthew Carl, 32, died in a single-vehicle motorcycle crash off the side of State Route 93 in Jackson, Ohio
South Bend-Elkhart, IN
Tabor Lock, 19, died, 20-year-old driver injured after their vehicle crashed into a tree on Daily Road in Jefferson Township, Michigan
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Brandon Timothy Hoffman, 26, and Brianna Lyn Rasmussen, 30, injured in a single-vehicle crash when their car left the roadway at the intersection of Highway 68 and Garden Avenue in Lucan, Minnesota
Sherman, TX-Ada, OK
Greenville-Spartanburg, SC-Asheville, NC-Anderson, SC
Vance Elias Gardner, 21, died after their motorcycle hit a concrete barrier before colliding head-on with a car on Woodruff Road in Greenville County, South Carolina
Jason Moore, 28, and Isaac Feliciano, 23, injured in a single-vehicle rollover crash off of Interstate 70 in Riley County, Texas
Gerald Grenewicz, 37, died after his motorcycle left the roadway and struck a metal guard, two trees off of Country Road 521 in Hope Township, New Jersey
St. Louis, MO
Nine people were injured after the driver of a van had a medical emergency, traveled off the road and hit a tree off of Interstate 55 in St. Louis County, Missouri
Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC
One dead, another injured following a single-vehicle crash on West Bear Grass Road in Horry County, South Carolina
Shawn Mitchell, 17, died after his vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree on Hart Road in Warren County, Ohio
Oklahoma City, OK
Jeremiah Sargent, 34, and a 15-year-old were killed in a single-vehicle rollover crash on South 3410 Road in Lincoln County, Oklahoma
Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC
Vehicle crashed into a utility pole near Highway 90 and Ernest Street in Horry County, South Carolina
Kyle Osgood, 29, died, Zachary Lee, 19, injured when the fire truck they were in left the road and overturned near Country Road 1000 West and Country Road 500 North in Randolph County, Indiana
Driver died following a single-vehicle rollover collision on Forest Hill Avenue in Richmond, Virginia
David Mitchell, 15, died after the golf cart he was driving left the roadway and overturned at Township Road 1536 and Township Road 1535 in Proctorville, Ohio
Elementary principal charged with alleged DUI after crashing into trees in a yard on Davison Road in Lockport, New York
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