The Dangers of Pavement and Shoulder Edge Drop-Offs

A pavement or shoulder edge drop-off is a condition where there is a significant elevation change from one travel lane to another, or between a travel lane and the adjacent shoulder. This condition has been found to be hazardous to motorists, particularly motorcycles, compact cars, and vehicles pulling trailers and has led to numerous investigation and even litigation. Both drop-offs are created due to uncompleted and inadequate highway reconstruction projects.

The problem with drop-offs is in the reaction of the drivers encountering them. It is not unusual for a driver to be startled by the unexpected condition, even upon a standard lane change. Drop-offs can take the driver out of the travel lane, and by attempting to return as quickly as possible, drivers encounter resistance from the vehicle’s tires known as “scrubbing”. Drivers instinctively react to the scrubbing by aggressively steering and overcompensating for the resistance, which can cause a loss of control and potentially a crash.

Safer alternatives include asphalt paving techniques such as Safety Edge that strive to protect motorists from preventable crashes by tapering the edges of the drop-off. The Safety Edge has been found to be easy to include in the process and creates a strong interface between the pavement and the graded material.

Benny Agosto, Jr. is a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, Texas. For over 60 years, Abraham Watkins has successfully represented injured people and families who fall victim to catastrophes. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to obtain just compensation their clients. For more information, please contact the office of Benny Agosto, Jr. at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, by letter at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone at (713) 222-7211.