Maryland Car Accident Lawyers: New Speed Restrictions in MarylandOctober 21, 2015
A law allowing Maryland drivers to travel at a higher speed on Interstate 68 has gone into effect despite safety concerns. The law, which raises the top highway speed to 70 mph, was voted in by Maryland lawmakers earlier this year. The increase follows a review of speed restrictions by the State Highway Administration. Maryland joins 22 other states with a 70 mph maximum speed limit, including neighbors Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Studies on the effects of raising speed limits provide conflicting results. Though the majority of research suggests that a boost in speed limit is associated with an increase in traffic wrecks, there are some studies that indicate the opposite is true. Proponents for higher speed limits argue that they reduce speed variance – a key factor in speed-related accidents. Studies show that the risk of having an accident increases dramatically on roads where some drivers are going 55 mph and others are driving 85 mph.
Traffic engineers generally recommend speeds be set at a limit so that 15% of drivers will exceed it and 85% of drivers will drive at or below the speed limit. The idea is that this method leads to the least variability between driving speeds, and therefore safer roads. However, most speed limits are set well below the 85th percentile, leading over half of all motorists to drive at speeds that are higher than the posted speed limit. Some claim that cities and states set speed limits artificially low as a way of generating revenue through traffic fines. They argue that raising the speed limit will afford police the ability to focus on more important issues such as drunk drivers, distracted drivers, drowsy drivers and careless or reckless drivers.
Speeding Accidents Result in Serious Injuries
One thing is certain though: higher speed crashes result in more severe injuries and deaths. Every year, nearly 10,000 people are fatally injured in accidents in which speed was a factor. Though the overall number of traffic deaths has fallen in the past decade (mostly due to fewer drunk driving crashes and increased seat belt usage), speed remains a major concern, especially on roads with higher speed limits. Data shows a 17% increase in highway deaths following a four percent rise in speed limits on U.S. interstates. Much of this can be attributed to the additional energy absorbed by crash victims at higher velocity collisions. Despite technological advancements in vehicle safety, most are not designed to handle crashes at speeds above 75 mph.
Maryland Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Pursue Maximum Compensation for Those Injured due to Speed Restrictions
If you have been seriously injured in a crash caused by someone who was speeding, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Maryland accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton fight for victims of driver negligence and recklessness. Contact us online or call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated and highly qualified Maryland car accident lawyers.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims and their families throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.