Are Higher Speeds Less Likely to Cause Accidents?

Why is it that you rarely hear of accidents on Germany’s Autobahn, which is famous for having large sections that have no speed limit? It’s often because these higher speeds, along with a licensing structure that creates better drivers, don’t have as many accidents as we have on our U.S. freeways. While the Autobahn certainly inspired much of our modern-day freeway system, we couldn’t commit to making some of our larges freeways such as interstate-10 speed-limit-free. If you get injured in a crash, a Richmond, VA auto accident lawyer will be a great help.

What Speeds Do Most Accidents Happen?

Fatal accidents happen in a rural area when the posted speed limit is 55 miles per hour, and it’s a significant spike from the 45-50 zones and the 60+ zones. In urban areas, most fatal accidents happen in 30 mph or slower zones and likely involve pedestrians.

However, most accidents involve injuries, but no fatalities happen at lower speeds. The speeds that people experience fender benders, for example, is often below 35 miles per hour. When you’re looking at the speeds of accidents, it’s critical also to evaluate the extent of the injuries. Would you rather be in a crash at 25 miles per hour, or in a wreck at 55 miles per hour?

Accounting for Velocity and the Complexity of Traffic

One of the issues that people face in resolving a crash is the same issue that cities face in planning speed limits. What happens when a person driving collides with another object? A series of rules within natural physics come into play. The driver will continue in motion. The vehicle will have to respond to the change in speed and possibly direction.

A high-speed crash where both vehicles are moving in the same direction at relatively the same speed may not have a life-changing impact. Whereas someone moving at 35 mph, hitting a stopped vehicle across its side could lead to fatalities.

When setting speed limits and when drivers adhere to speed limits, there are two factors to consider. The velocity which would result in injuries or fatalities if a crash were the happen, and the complexity of traffic. If you’re ever unsure of the next turn or confused by the setup of an intersection, remember your defensive driving practices. Keep up with traffic and keep a safe following distance to reduce your chances of a crash, no matter the speed limit.

Who Sets Speed Limits?

Although it would seem reasonable to allow the engineers who designed the roads and freeways to set the limits, they don’t. In fact, engineers are only permitted to provide recommendations for speed limits, and they can lead many cities into well-thought-out planning. But there are times when engineers and city planners don’t see eye to eye. Sometimes it’s with good reason.

For example, if the engineer suggests a speed limit of 55 miles per hour, but city planners recognize that the street is very close to a lot of 35 mph residential zones, they may choose to reduce that speed recommendation. However, it’s clear that there are times when city planners don’t have a good reason.

When an engineer recommends a high speed such as 60 or 65 miles per hour for the extent of the street, the city may feel that that’s too fast within city limits. Reducing that speed to 55 miles per hour could lead to many more accidents.

A Richmond, VA Auto Accident Lawyer Can Give Some Insight

Your accident lawyer in Richmond, VA understands that you’ll need additional help. If you were in a high-speed crash, you might be one of the few in an urban area that had an extraordinarily traumatic accident. But, if your crash was because of a low-speed limit or sudden speed limit charge, you may be one of many who struggle with poor city planning and aggressive drivers.

Handling your claim starts with getting Richmond based legal help. A local attorney will understand the State laws and the structure of the city. It’s always best to choose a local attorney first to gain some insight into local statistics on patterns in traffic accidents similar to yours.

Work with a Richmond, VA Auto Accident Lawyer

After a Richmond crash, you may be wondering what you could have done to avoid it or have had fewer injuries. In some cases, the outcome of the crash was completely beyond your control. Sometimes it’s simply city officials who went against an engineer’s recommendations.

Getting into an automobile wreck is cause for hiring a Richmond, VA auto accident lawyer. You can work with a law firm that deals with Virginia car accidents to create a strong case for your claim. Call CAIL today.

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