Articles Tagged with road design

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Flooding in Hollywood, Homestead, and other Florida cities can happen with heavy rains, tornadoes, and other weather disasters. In most cases, you will hopefully be safe at home when disaster strikes and will be on high ground. But what happens if you are caught driving when you find yourself in a flood?

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Flood waters can cause you to lose control of your car, which can result in car crash in Homestead or your community. Rising flood waters can cause serious damage in other ways, too. They can knock down power lines or cause electrical shorts that can put people in danger of electrocution. Water can also crash into you or your car with enough force to cause serious damage.

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According to statistics, pedestrians in wheelchairs  were 36% more likely to be in fatal pedestrian accidents when compared with other groups, with men in wheelchairs having especially high rates of serious injury and fatalities.

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Researchers who came up with the data did not offer reasons as to why wheelchair pedestrians may be at risk in this way, but there are a few possibilities:

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Between 2014 and 2015, the number of highway traffic deaths in Florida increased by over 17%. The increase has some safety experts worried and some lawmakers suggested tougher penalties for motorists who crash into pedestrians and bicyclists.

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Some legislators have also suggested toughening Florida’s texting and driving rules. Currently, the state makes texting and driving a secondary offense, meaning a driver has to be pulled over for another offense for an officer to give them a citation for texting behind the wheel.

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Google has moved forward with its self-driving cars, announcing a fleet of 100 fully autonomous vehicles. With smart cars soon to be on our roads, could smart roads be far behind?

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According to experts, we have already been moving in that direction for years. Some streets and highways already have sensors and detectors in the pavement to catch overburdened trucks, speeders, and more. There are also road designs that promise to melt snow, warn drivers about traffic, and create a lighted surface that shows warnings. However, smart roads and more sophisticated communication systems in our infrastructure promise to do a lot more in the future.

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Traffic lights are an important part of street design and they are created to control traffic flow while preventing motor vehicle collisions. Given accident rates in general and the number of intersection collisions in Hollywood and other cities, however, many experts feel that more can be done to make streets and traffic lights safer. One of those potential solutions is “smart” traffic lights.

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Smart virtual traffic lights developed by scientists promise to reduce collisions, red light violations, and congestion. The lights work by allowing cars to communicate with each other and with traffic light systems. If two or more cars are approaching an intersection, the system would make the lights turn green for the car or cars with the right of way and red for everyone else. If there is only one car approaching the intersection, the traffic lights would allow that car to drive right through on a green light.

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According to experts at the World Bank and the World Resources Institute (WRI), many people are moving to cities. In fact, half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, which means that these regions are expanding rapidly with new buildings and roads. It also means more traffic congestion, with cities creating 1.2 million traffic accident fatalities annually.

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Many safety experts say that it does not have to be this way and that cities can become safe places with good, sustainable designs. The problem, some critics feel, is that current cities are not always designed for future population growth or even to handle the current population numbers, creating congestion and other problems.

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Since Florida has so many waterways, it is not surprising that the state also has many bridges. In fact, Florida is home to the eighth-largest bridge in the country. Large bridges such as Seven Mile Bridge and many smaller bridges provide a convenient and essential way to get around, but they can also pose their own challenges.

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Car accidents occur on Miami and Florida bridges each year, often due to road collapse, poor bridge maintenance, and other issues. These accidents can be especially dangerous when compared with roadway accidents for a number of reasons:

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Florida cities have been ranked among the worst in the nation for pedestrians and bicyclists, and three years ago the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) responded with studies into road safety as well as potential design changes to make streets safer for all users. One of the changes Florida DOT is considering making is narrowing lanes. According to some experts, narrower lanes encourage drivers to slow down, which makes streets safer for pedestrians and bikers. In Miami Beach, Alton Road is one of the roads that is being redesigned with narrower lanes.

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Traffic accidents in Miami Beach and other cities can occur due to busy downtown cores and due to suburban street design, which is often created for cars rather than pedestrians. One problem is that downtown urban streets are often designed with the same features as highways, which just encourage drivers to go faster. Part of the reason is because much of Florida was developed during the boom in the first few decades of the 20th century. At the time, there was less of a focus on walking and bicycling and more of a focus on making streets accessible to cars. Some communities were built largely for car traffic, with less thought to other forms of traffic.

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