Recently, a Chatham County high school student died of trauma suffered from a car wreck. Although he struggled for life at the Duke University Hospital, tragically, the Siler City, North Carolina (N.C.) teen died from serious injuries resulting from when his pick-up truck ran off the road and struck a tree.
Although it is still unclear as to what caused this crash, road design is often times a possible culprit to a vehicle wreck. A 1985 US study reported that about 34% of all serious vehicular wrecks had contributing factors related to the roadway and its immediate environment. The road or environmental factor was either noted as making a significant contribution to the circumstances of the crash, or did not allow room to recover.
In these circumstances it is frequently the driver who is blamed rather than the road; those reporting the accident have a tendency to overlook the human factors involved, such as the subtleties of design and maintenance that a driver could fail to observe or inadequately compensate for.
Research has shown that careful design and maintenance, with well-designed intersections, road surfaces, visibility and traffic control devices, can result in significant improvements in accident rates. Individual roads also have widely differing performance in the event of an impact. In Europe there are now what’s called “EuroRAP” tests that indicate how forgiving a particular road and its roadside would be in the event of a major incident.
Investigation of the car accident is ongoing as it is still unclear as to what caused the Jordan Matthews Highschool student to run off Silk Hope Road. The youth is sadly missed by the entire school and nothing can express the sadness that must be felt by his family. Although we do not know him our prayers and heartfelt sympathy goes out to his parents in their tragic time of loss.