When a traffic accident occurs, a driver is usually presumed to be at-fault. And many times, that may be the case. However, there are many different entities who are involved in traffic safety and they each have an important role to fulfill in making roads safe.
Traffic accidents are the most obvious results when it comes to a breakdown in traffic safety. Accidents are most often caused by a failure on the part of one or more drivers to exercise caution when driving. However, not all accidents can be traced back to careless drivers. Sometimes, the failure is on the part of the vehicle itself, incorrect or missing signage, incorrect or non-working traffic signals, or other outside forces. Though drivers need to take responsibility for safe driving by following traffic laws and practicing defensive driving techniques behind the wheel, they will never have total control of traffic safety.
In many places, drivers share the roads with cyclists and pedestrians. Though drivers are often blamed when there is a crash involving a pedestrian or a cyclist, it is the responsibility of everyone on the road to follow traffic laws and interact in a safe manner. Pedestrians and cyclists can and do make choices that lead to accidents, and in collisions with a vehicle, they are the ones most likely to to be seriously injured or killed, regardless of who’s at fault. That’s why it’s critical for cyclists to use the roads safely and do everything they can to make themselves visible to drivers with safety lights, and reflective clothing and equipment. Pedestrians should take care to cross streets in legally allowed locations where they are visible to drivers, and always use marked crosswalks when available. When on the road, pedestrians are just as responsible for traffic safety as the drivers of any vehicles.
There are a lot of ways that private companies contribute to traffic safety. From vehicle manufacturers who are constantly working to improve vehicle safety to artificial intelligence companies creating self-driving cars to energy companies giving us solar options for keeping traffic signals functional no matter what’s happening on the roads, we depend on the innovation from the private sector to help make the roads safer for everyone. Innovations in vehicle safety have reduced fatality rates in car accidents, while safety equipment like infant seats have made cars safer for children in the event of an accident. Technology is always giving us new ways to be safer on the roads and private companies play a huge role in those innovations.
The government takes on a lot of responsibility when it comes to traffic safety. From legislation to road maintenance and emergency response, all levels of government contribute to road safety in various ways.
Traffic safety legislation can be implemented by any level of government, from local city and county governments, all the way up through the federal government. Most enforcement is conducted at local and state levels.
In the US, the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulates the safety of motor vehicles. Their mission is to prevent and reduce motor vehicle crashes. They create vehicle safety standards and monitor traffic safety data across the country to determine where funds should be spent to improve traffic safety.
Signage and signals
Traffic signage is usually purchased and installed by local authorities. Traffic signals and signs have a measurable effect on traffic safety because they help alert drivers to potential issues as well manage the flow of traffic. When used correctly, traffic signals and signs can significantly improve traffic safety.
Another responsibility for local governments, road maintenance can play a huge role in traffic safety. When roads and bridges are properly maintained, drivers can more easily and safely navigate with fewer accidents. Potholes and other roadway damage account for up to one third of all traffic fatalities, and cost drivers billions of dollars per year in vehicle damage. It’s easy to see how important proper road maintenance is for traffic safety.
First responders such as firefighters, paramedics and police also have a vital part to play in traffic safety. Police officers hope to help prevent traffic accidents by issuing citations for traffic violations that can lead to accidents, like excessive speeding, erratic driving, etc. Officers also help to sort out who’s responsible when an accident does occur. Paramedics and firefighters arrive after an accident to help anyone who is injured or trapped in the vehicle.Though they can’t do much to prevent accidents, they can help save lives through proper training and quick response times.
There are a lot of components that have to work together to keep people safe on the roads today. Though it’s not possible to anticipate or prevent every single accident, by working together and using new technologies to our advantage, we can significantly improve the safety of our roads and reduce the amount of traffic fatalities.
ELTEC has been a world-class manufacturer and innovator in traffic control signs, traffic safety equipment and overall traffic control products for nearly 50 years. Our goal is to significantly reduce the number of fatalities on our roads each year by implementing warning systems, and we are constantly coming up with new ways to innovate our products to provide you with the best possible safety and warning systems for your community. Contact ELTEC Traffic Products and Warning Systems today to learn how we can meet your traffic signal needs with state-of-the-art systems that are built to save lives.