Last year, WABE reported on rising speed limits in Atlanta and in areas throughout Georgia. The Georgia Department of Transportation conducted research on raising the speed limit, identifying areas where the DOT believed motorists could safely travel as fast as 70 MPH. Because of DOT’s decisions, seven counties in metro-Atlanta saw the speed limit go up to either 65 MPH or 70 MPH. Affected counties included Dekalb, Fulton, Clayton, Cobb, Gwinnett, Rockdale, and Douglas. Roads in these counties where speed limits rose included I-85, I-20, I-75 and Georgia 400.
Georgia was not alone in raising speed limits. In fact, Wired.com reports there is a national trend going on of different states making the legally permitted speed limit faster than ever. This trend has serious consequences for road safety, as many more accidents can occur when vehicles are traveling at high speeds.
If you are involved in an Atlanta car accident and the driver was going too fast to be safe, an auto accident lawyer should be consulted for assistance in determining if you can pursue a damage claim against the speeding driver.
Atlanta Car Accident Risk Rising Due to Elevated Speed
Rising speed limits have serious consequences. Speed limits have gone up in the past, and Wired.com published details on an AAA study of the effects of these rising limits. Between 1995 and 2005, there are 12,545 fatalities in motor vehicle accidents which occurred because of higher speed limits, which would not have happened if drivers had been traveling more slowly.
Elevated speeds mean a higher chance motorists are going to be unable to maintain vehicle control. A fast moving car is also far more likely to kill a pedestrian than a slower moving car, and is more likely to cause a serious or fatal impact when it collides with other vehicles. Speeding cars have more momentum, so crashes are more serious, and speeding drivers have a longer stopping distance so they are more likely to get into crashes in the first place.
There is another danger of increasing speed limits: a greater discrepancy between vehicle speed. Some drivers are going to go even faster than posted limits, so raising allowable maximum speeds could result in these motorists traveling well over 70 MPH. At the same time, there are some drivers who won’t even be comfortable going 65 or 70, so won’t come up to the maximum limit. The greater the speed discrepancy between cars on the roads, the more likely it is accidents will happen.
States like Georgia are increasing their limits because there is a lot of pressure to do so, since most people don’t view speeding as bad. Around half of all motorists say they speed regularly, and 16 percent of motorists say they don’t think going faster than the speed limit is dangerous as long as drivers know how to be safe. Unfortunately, the consequences of this may be serious for drivers. Motorists need to be safe, no matter what the speed limit, and can be held accountable if they cause a crash by going too fast.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.