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Georgia DOT’s Plans to Raise Speed Limits Could Increase Accident Risks

A number of states around the country have experimented with an increase in speed limits on some of their freeways and highways.Earlier this month, Texas had the dubious distinction of becoming home to the road with the highest speed limit in the country, with one stretch now having a speed limit of 85 mph limit.In Georgia, similar plans are being discussed that would raise our speed limit.

However, Atlanta car accident lawyers would warn against any rush to increase speed limits on roadways, without carefully analyzing the possible effects on motorist safety and the increased risk of accidents.

In Georgia, the Department Of Transportation is currently experimenting with increasing the speed limit on I-285 from 55 mph to 65 mph.Those 65 mph speed limits are fairly reasonable, when considering that the current highest speed limit in Georgia is 70 mph.While motorists in Georgia may complain that the speed limits in the state are far too low, the fact is that very often, motorists decide to drive at least 10 mph above the posted speed limit.So when you have a speed limit of 70 mph, you’re likely to have many motorists traveling at 80 mph.

When you have an accident at those high speeds, the damage is far more difficult to contain than if the accident had occurred when the car had been traveling at a lower speed.High-speed accidents often end with catastrophic consequences, including multiple fatalities and serious life altering injuries.

Take for instance, the state of Texas, where one particular stretch of road between Austin and San Antonio now has a posted speed limit of 85 mph.When you consider that even some motorists on this particular stretch may drive at least 90 mph to 95 mph, you understand how serious the risks of injuries are for motorists involved in accidents.

When an accident occurs at those high speeds, the structure of the body simply cannot take the impact, and collapses.The impact is so heavy, that even your seat belt and airbag may be ineffective in limiting the injury.Moreover, a car that is traveling at 85 mph or 90 mph is likely to find it much harder to come to a complete stop and avoid an accident, compared to a car that is traveling at 65 mph.

That is the reason why our Georgia car accident attorneys do not support arbitrary increases in speed limits.There is scientific evidence to back these concerns.More than a decade ago, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety published a study in which it found that when states increased the speed limits on their roads, they suffered a 15% increase in their accident numbers.In comparison, states that did not increase their speed limits, suffered no such increase in their fatality numbers. There is a time to raise speed limits, but only after careful research is completed about how that increase will affect the safety of all drivers and passengers.

Drive Safe!