When an Outdated Design Finally Needs to be Put to Bed:
The Government’s “State of the Art” Defense in Road Design Cases

IV. Strategies for Addressing the “State of the Art” Defense
A. Finding the right standard

Before sending interrogatories or requests for production of documents to MHTC, plaintiff’s counsel should obtain the most recent version of the standards for roadway design published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). AASHTO sets highway design standards for all fifty states and is made up of a board comprised of transportation officials from each state.51 AASHTO boasts that it “represent[s] the highest standard of transportation expertise in the country.”52 The organization goes on to claim it “address[es] virtually every element of planning, designing, constructing and maintaining transportation services.”53 AASHTO has several publications it releases to set the standards for design of highways, streets, bridges, etc.54 These publications cover almost every aspect of highway design from what grade of slope requires a guardrail to the location of signs.55

51 AASHTO Homepage, What is AASHTO?, http://downloads.transportation.org/WIA_1209.pdf (last visited December 28, 2010). 
52 Id. 
53 Id. 
54 AASHTO Standards and Guidelines publications, https://bookstore.transportation.org/category_item.aspx (last visited December 28, 2010). 
55 Counsel for an injured motorist should obtain the most recent edition of the AASHTO publications to see if the accident site is up to current standards.


Previous Page
IV. Strategies for Addressing the “State of the Art” Defense
Next Page
B. Policy Announcements by MHTC

Call 816-931-0048 NOW, For Your Free Personal Consultation!