The speed of a driver increases the risk and severity of vehicular accidents. This is why traffic calming tools such as bollards, speed bumps, and signs are implemented in parking lots and roadways. By having traffic calming devices, the speed of the driver is reduced and consequently they become more aware of their surroundings. In this article we’ll explore the benefits of the various traffic devices and how they contribute to a safer community.
Perhaps one of the more commonly known tactics to get drivers to slow down is the use of speed bumps. Typically these devices are found in neighborhoods, parking lots, and on private roads. This is because they are designed for streets that have relatively low speeds. In the Temporary Speed Hump Impact Evaluation report by The Center for Transportation Research and Education at Iowa State University, speed bumps are responsible for a 40 percent speed reduction for most vehicles. In addition to slowing traffic, they increase the safety of the street, and improve the traffic flow within residential areas.
While speed bumps help control traffic in residential areas, they need to be used in conjunction with other traffic controlling devices in school zones. According to statistics, as many as 100 school children are injured every year in accidents that occur inside school zones. These accidents can be reduced by the implementation of speed bumps, pedestrian signage, reduced speeds posted, and bollards.
The use of bollards in high traffic areas serve two purposes: to keep cars away from pedestrians and pedestrians away from cars. You’ll notice bollards installed in front of store fronts, blocking pedestrian only paths, and in parking lots. Their versatile locations are based on the perceived safety measures needed for the area. This is because they offer not only physical protection but also visual stimulation which influences most drivers to slow down.
While these traffic calming measures are suitable during the day, another time driving becomes less safe is during the nighttime. Even though there are fewer cars on the road, the Traffic Safety Facts reports that more than 40 percent of all fatal car accidents occur at night. This is when traffic control devices become even more critical. Some of the most commonly used devices at night include reflective bollards, speed bumps, and chevron alignment signs on the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the addition of chevron alignment signs on curves with radii less than 7 degrees can reduce crashes by 49%.
Ultimately, the more traffic measures implemented on the roads - the safer the community and street will be. Drivers will be more alert of, not only pedestrians, but of road conditions ahead of them.
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