When thinking about the causes of a car accident, distracted driving, drunk driving, and speeding may come to mind first. All of those actions are the direct result of a reckless driver’s negligence. Not all accidents, however, are the result of a driver’s recklessness. Some accidents happen when roads are poorly maintained.
Drivers need to be able to maintain control over their vehicles at all times. When a pothole or uneven lane causes an unexpected departure, the consequences can be severe. Every day drivers all over Georgia encounter dangerous road conditions. If you come across a poorly maintained road, there are steps you can take to report the issue. It is then the state’s job to correct the hazard quickly and efficiently, to prevent any possible accidents.
The Consequences of Poorly Maintained Roads
The Georgia Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining all state and federal roads and bridges in Georgia. Local governments, however, are responsible for their own roads and bridges. This is why the quality of road conditions can change drastically as you’re traveling.
When a responsible driver is behind the wheel, they’re confident they have control over their vehicle and awareness of their surroundings. When a dangerous road hazard suddenly appears, the driver may not have time to correct their vehicle in order to avoid an accident. As a result, they could crash their vehicle or get into an accident with other cars on the road.
The consequences of an accident are often physical, emotional, and financial. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the victims could walk away unscathed or they could deal with the physical injuries for the rest of their lives. Crashes can also take a mental toll that impacts a person’s social life, relationships, and ability to work. Financially, there are costs associated with vehicle repair, medical bills, and lost wages from time off work.
Examples of Dangerous Road Conditions
When there are things, like road hazards, working against a driver, their chances of getting into an accident and sustaining injuries increases. Some of the most common dangerous road conditions include the following:
- Potholes. Gaps or holes in the road’s surface can damage tires and cause swerving.
- Missing Markings. When traffic signs are missing, signals aren’t working, or road markings aren’t painted properly, drivers can miss important information.
- Fixed Objects. When storms hit, there’s the possibility for down utility poles, fallen trees, and uncovered water drains. If these hazards aren’t cleaned up quickly, accidents are likely.
- Oil and Chip. To temporarily repair roads, they may be resurfaced with oil and chips. If not properly done or cleaned up, roads can become slippery and tires won’t have as much to grip on to.
- Lack of Guardrails or Shoulders. In certain areas, especially where there are steep drop-offs on one or both sides of a road, it’s important for drivers to have access to a wide shoulder and for guardrails to be in place to prevent a catastrophe in the event of an accident.
Contacting the Georgia Department of Transportation
If you encounter a dangerous road condition, you can report it to the Georgia Department of Transportation. While you can call, the most effective way to report an issue is with their online form. You will need to provide the following information:
- Type of Needed Maintenance. You can choose from guardrail, litter, mowing, noise wall damage, pothole, roadway condition, or tree trimming.
- Inquiry Type. You can choose from comment, question, or request.
- City. All the cities in Georgia are listed.
- Comments. This is the section where you fill out what hazard you’ve located. The more detailed you are, the faster the issue can be addressed. You’ll want to discuss exactly where the dangerous road condition is located, what it is, and what, if anything, it did to your vehicle or you.
- Contact Information. You only need to provide your first and last name.
- Required Response. If you’d like a response to your submission, you can choose to be contacted via email or phone.
If you’re in an accident caused by a dangerous road condition and your car is no longer drivable or you need medical attention, call 911 and law enforcement officials will assist you. You can still file a report with the Georgia Department of Transportation, but it’s best to get in touch with an attorney, so you can learn about your legal rights and options.
If you’ve been in an accident that was caused by poor road conditions, you may be wondering who to hold accountable. It can be challenging to hold the state or a municipality responsible for dangerous road conditions without the help of an experienced lawyer. At Bey & Associates, we are not intimated by any negligent parties. We’ll fight for you and build a case that proves you deserve compensation for what you were put through. To learn more about personal injury claims related to dangerous road conditions in Georgia, schedule a free consultation with us today.