The movie “Minority Report” offered the intriguing concept of a future where murders are prevented before they happen.
While this might be the stuff of sci-fi, traffic engineers have come up with a way to stop car accidents before they happen through road safety audits.
In the past, traffic engineers would analyse historical data to identify locations with a significant accident history and recommend measures to reduce the risk of accidents.
However, as technology progressed, traffic engineers began to have the tools to identify these hotspots before they became problems, a practice that became known as a “road safety audit”.
Road safety auditing involves an independent review of a set of development plans before anything gets built. Independence is really important - someone who's had no input in the design will be impartial to giving recommendations that improve the safety of surrounding roads.
Potential issues and seemingly minor details, such as the place of the sun (where it rises and sets) relative to the road, are looked at on-site during a road safety audit. Most often, there will be very specific issues around each site that make a big difference to the road's safety. Key issues often missed include signs and line markings, both being important details that drivers subconsciously take as cues on the road.
Road safety audits require a lot of experience.
By preventing accidents, they potentially save lives and livelihoods.
I've done road safety audits for a number of years, so for peace of mind that your development is as safe as it can be, feel free to get in contact.