Variable speed limit systems may reduce construction zone crashes

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

It’s not unusual for drivers in Everett, Washington, to crash because they don’t realize that they are entering a construction zone with a reduced speed limit. Sometimes, it’s not enough for drivers to be warned by orange cones or by the stream of brake lights up ahead. This is where variable advisory speed limits may come in.

What one University of Missouri study found

Researchers at the University of Missouri teamed up with the Missouri Department of Transportation to see how VASL would work on the highway. Specifically, they installed a speed limit system at a certain point on the I-270, a four-lane highway. Located in St. Louis, this stretch of highway has seen a startling number of accidents.

The result was that the VASL system did actually get drivers to slow down sooner when entering construction zones. Researchers discovered a:

• Decrease of up to 10 mph in speed differences
• 30% drop in the risk for a rear-end collision
• 20% decrease in the number of lane-changing conflicts

The traffic queues became 53% shorter, though the average travel time for drivers did go up between 4% and 8%. Still, most drivers won’t notice that increase.

What a VASL system does

Variable speed limit systems are able to display reduced speed limits in real time, changing them according to the actual speed of traffic further down the highway. So, if a queue has developed and drivers are bumper to bumper, the system can alert the others to this in a more graphic way than by simply warning them to slow down.

A lawyer for auto accident cases

Perhaps you were in a car crash because of a driver who may have failed to take the reduced speed limit into account. Whatever the situation was like, it may allow you to file a claim against the other driver. If you’re not familiar with the negligence laws in this state, a lawyer may explain them and apply them to your case. Legal counsel may even determine how much you can be eligible for in damages and then negotiate for that amount.