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Variable speed limits: Can they really reduce highway accidents?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2020 | Car Accidents |

One of the most common reasons why people in North Carolina and around the country are involved in car accidents is because they are often not warned about changes in speed limits ahead of time. If you’ve ever driven on the road or highway, you may have noticed that speed limits change suddenly. This leads to vehicles abruptly slowing down, which in turn leads to the cars behind them having to hit the breaks immediately. The following includes further information about this road issue and how experts are attempting to reduce the number of car crashes on the road.

Queuing & accidents

A common scenario that drivers find themselves in while driving on the highway is running into a sudden queue of other vehicles. If you’re driving at 65mph and are suddenly forced to slow down instantly, then you can see how an MVA could occur. Although some will say that construction crews or police departments place cones way ahead of the closed area, the fact is that it’s simply not effective enough. The caution cones or signs may begin way ahead of where the queue of the cars actually begins.

What do the experts say?

Experts within the fields of civil and environmental engineering understand that something should be done about this issue. This is why they have introduced the concept of adding variable speed limits along the road. This involves alerting drivers way ahead of a closed area about the speed at which they should be driving. For example, VASL could tell drivers who are two miles away to begin slowing down. After the VASL system was tested along some of the country’s most accident-prone highways, experts found that it decreased rear-end collisions by over 30%.

Although much work has been put into reducing accidents, it should be noted that caution must always be taken by drivers. However, in the event that you are unfortunately involved in an accident, it is recommended to seek legal advice. This is especially true if you were struck by a commercial truck.