Curb Ramps - Expert Introduction to Design and Safety Aspects

This article discusses design standards relevant to curb ramp safety, specifically highlighting those design elements that are commonly associated with slip, trip, and fall incidents. The premises safety experts at Robson Forensic have investigated hundreds of incidents involving these common landscape features.

Curb Ramp Injury Investigations

Slip, trip, and fall injuries commonly occur on and around pedestrian curb ramps. Through the course of our casework, the Premises Safety experts at Robson Forensic have investigated hundreds of cases involving these walkway features.


Design Standards Relevant to Curb Ramp Safety

  1. TOP LANDING WIDTH IS 36” MIN (NEW CONSTRUCTION), UNLESS INSTALLED AS AN ALTERATION AND SPACE IS NOT AVAILABLE
  2. SURFACE OF CURB RAMP AND FLARES TO BE SLIP-RESISTANT
  3. RAMP WIDTH IS 36” MIN
  4. MAX SLOPE OF CURB RAMP IS 1:12 (8.33%)
  5. DETECTABLE WARNING, WHEN USED, IS 24” DEEP X FULL WIDTH OF RAMP, FULLY ADHERED, WITH FLUSH OR BEVELED EDGES
  6. SLOPE OF INTERSECTING PAVEMENT TO BE 1:20 MAX; AVOID PONDING WATER AT BOTTOM OF CURB RAMP
  7. FOR STANDARD 6” CURB HEIGHT, LENGTH OF FLARED SIDE IS 60”; 72” IF NO TOP LANDING (FLARED SIDES NOT REQUIRED IF AREA ADJACENT TO CURB RAMP IS NOT A WALKING SURFACE)
  8. SIDEWALK JOINTS TO BE FLUSH TO AVOID TRIPPING
  9. FLARED SIDE CURB TO BE PAINTED IF REST OF CURB IS PAINTED

Common Issues in Curb Ramp Incidents

  • Trips and falls on curb ramps frequently occur on the flared side or the flared side curb, as many are steeper than code allows.
  • Many times, the flared side surfaces are irregular or convex rather than flat, making walking on them more difficult.
  • Trips and falls occur where detectable warning mats become loose.
  • Curb ramp slips and falls can occur on wet detectable warning strips, or at the bottom of the ramp where ponding water freezes and turns to ice.
  • When portions of the curb ramp, such as the flared sides, are painted with traffic paint, slips occur in wet weather where no slip-resistant paint additive was used.

PREMISES LIABILITY INVESTIGATIONS

The Premises Safety Experts at Robson Forensic investigate cases involving the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of residential, institutional, and commercial premises. We conduct site inspections, perform tests, and review applicable standards to learn facts and form opinions about how and why individuals were injured within the built environment.

For more information submit an inquiry.