Click for next page ( 23


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 22
22 Stopping Sight Distance Remove Obstructions Illumination is not typically Post Advisory Speed effective as mitigation in crest Post Warning Signs vertical curve situations. Consider Installing Posting "reduced sight Illumination distance" signs is not effective. If Relocate Intersections/ warning signs are placed, the Access Points hazard that is hidden should be Improve Horizontal identified, such as narrow bridge Sight Lines or intersection ahead, for Install Advance example. Flashing Warnings Widen Shoulders/Pavement Flatten Roadside Slopes V. CONCLUSION sonably safe. These strategies include motions for summary judgment based upon the law, and the use of CSD, Practical Design, and CSS are by-products of a framework for defending a "reasonably safe" road case the need to emphasize safety, durability, maintainabil- to a jury. ity, and cost in roadway design. Past generations of The best and most certain means of successfully de- highway designers primarily relied on the "cookbook" fending a tort claim is a motion to dismiss or a motion method of designing highways, strictly adhering to the for summary judgment based upon statutory discre- engineering methodology outlined in various reference tionary immunity, statutory immunity based upon reli- manuals. The CSD process does not create new stan- ance upon generally-accepted standards, or statutory dards; it merely allows the designer to be flexible by immunity based upon "balancing factors." If that incorporating the principles that are found in the Road- method of defense is not allowed under applicable law, side Design Guide and A Policy on Geometric Design of the practitioner will necessarily rely upon some varia- Highways and Streets. tion of the defense that the road was "reasonably safe." The CSD process allows and encourages flexibility in That can be shown by documentation of site conditions the scoping and design phases. Many states have devel- at the time of the crash combined with documentation oped policies that encourage and even require staff to done at the time of the design that shows that appro- balance multiple factors during the design phase of the priate engineering judgment was exercised in the de- project. It is important for counsel to review the policies sign and execution of the plans. and make sure, first, that the policies are beneficial to At the time of publication of this digest, 15 of the 28 the organization from a litigation standpoint and, sec- states that responded to our survey had enacted legisla- ond, make sure a process is in place to ensure that the tion that encourages their DOTs to implement context policy is followed and steps are appropriately docu- sensitive or practical design programs. In some states, mented. An entire section of this digest is devoted to the concept is encouraged only for bridges or landscap- developing appropriate documentation during the de- ing; in others, it is encouraged for all types of new con- sign phase of the project in preparation for litigation. struction. To successfully defend against claims arising Additionally, this digest is intended to assist counsel from CSS and CSD, agency commitment to adhere to in formulating successful design defense strategies in the strategies described in this digest is essential. cases where generally-accepted standards of road de- sign were not strictly followed but the road was rea-