Why new roadway design confuses drivers

pCabsOnStreet_814474_sAs more and more drivers clog Nevada roadways, traffic engineers have been tasked with creating new and effective methods of managing the onslaught of vehicles. Although these methods are intended to improve traffic flow and minimize accidents, they aren’t without downfalls. New roadway designs and traffic patterns are increasingly confusing drivers, which is a cause of concern for motorists and a car accident lawyer in Las Vegas.

Traffic formations of the future

According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, 371 people were killed and 3,055 were seriously injured due to crashes in Nevada intersections between 2008 and 2012. The Las Vegas Sun reports that, in an effort to decrease these numbers, a new type of highway interchange opened early this year, at Horizon Drive and U.S. 95 in Henderson. The NDOT reports that the new system, called a “diverging diamond interchange,” is intended to improve traffic flow and enhance safety for Nevada drivers.

Chosen because of its high traffic volume and numerous traffic lights and left turns, the Horizon Drive location has long been a point of contention for area motorists. The Las Vegas Sun asserts that the new roadway design enhances visibility and may lead to fewer crashes. The design also has its shortcomings, which are becoming increasingly apparent to both drivers and a car accident lawyer in Las Vegas.

Downfalls of new roadway designs

Not all of the flaws the Las Vegas Sun article noted in the new diamond interchange design are exclusive to this particular intersection. Rather, many of the issues and potential ramifications raised by the new design are of concern for drivers across the state and beyond. Not only are many motorists confused by unfamiliar designs in intersections they frequent, but some of these new designs, like the diamond interchange, do not allow off-ramp traffic to reenter the highway. Consequently, drivers who take a wrong exit or are rerouted due to a crash are often faced with long and inconvenient detours.

New traffic patterns and road designs are also of concern for pedestrians. Several local bus stops are built outside of Henderson’s new interchange area, forcing some people to make longer, potentially dangerous walks. Pedestrians are also sometimes confused at crosswalks where new roadway design exists, because they’re seeing traffic coming from new or unanticipated directions. This can heighten their risk of getting hit by a car.

Be prepared

While new roadway designs are undeniably confusing to drivers, they are also unlikely to go away as motorists continue to fill Nevada’s roadways. The Henderson project, and others like it, will ultimately reveal valuable information about the effectiveness of these projects compared to the risks they create. In the meantime, a car accident lawyer in Las Vegas recommends that drivers be on high alert for changes along Nevada roadways in order to avoid becoming another design or intersection crash statistic.