Road Injury Prevention & Litigation Journal
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|(This article is reproduced, with permission, from the Winter 1997 edition of the "Crossroads" newsletter published by the Transportation Information Center at the University of Wisconsin--Madison.)|
Running off the road killed 263 people and injured another 14,545 in 1995 in Wisconsin, according to WisDOT [Wisconsin Department of Transportation] crash data. Trees, embankments, guardrails, bridges, utility poles, and mailboxes were the most frequently cited obstacles struck in these crashes. It is easy to overlook potentially dangerous obstacles along roads unless you go out hunting for them. Making the hunt easier and more systematic is the goal of a new T.l.C. [Transportation Information Center] booklet: SAFER - Safety Evaluation for Roadsides. The booklet has more than 100 photographs showing obstacles, unsafe conditions, and good practices. They are grouped into categories including: roadsides, intersections, railroad crossings, geometrics, signing, pavement markings, road maintenance, and special conditions. "The goal is to help locals systematically review safety conditions on their roads," says T.l.C. Director Don Walker. "Then they can set priorities and decide which conditions need action right away and which to put into plans for future improvements." The T.l.C. is also offering workshops on safety evaluation . . . at which the new SAFER booklet will be distributed and discussed.