Nearly 100 Years of Legal Service

Our firm was founded by T. Brooke Howard in 1923. We have been providing exceptional legal service for our clients.

Virginia takes steps to address speeding problems

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Auto accidents can happen in Virginia for many reasons. While there are some relatively new causes of accidents that are frequently discussed such as cellphone-based distracted driving, one problem has been leading to crashes almost since automobiles came into existence: speeding.

Drivers who travel beyond the speed limits place themselves and others in jeopardy. It is harder to stop in time when the unexpected happens and any impact will be more intense. Pedestrians, bicyclists and children are especially vulnerable. While crackdowns and citations can be effective, lawmakers are trying a new tactic. Still, it is wise to be prepared if a speeding accident causes injuries and death.

Change to the law will let localities adjust speed limits for safety

A bill recently signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin will let local areas decide on speed limits and be able to reduce them accordingly to make them safer. In the past, the state was responsible for making the determination as to what the speed limits could be.

The primary reason is the increasing dangers faced by pedestrians. In some areas, the speed can be reduced to as low as 15 mph if it is a state-owned highway when they are also used for commercial and residential locations.

Experts from AAA applauded the decision saying that it lets the community determine what is the best strategy to lower the risk of accidents because of speeding. The numbers back up the fear that speeding is a major catalyst for fatal collisions.

In Virginia, nearly 50% of all fatal crashes cite speed as a factor. This is particularly problematic if the accident involves a pedestrian. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the more severe the outcome of an accident. If a vehicle is traveling at 42 mph, the chance of a fatality is at 50%. At 20 mph lower, it is 10%.

Accident victims should know their rights

Given the prevalence of speeding accidents, it is understandable that lawmakers are taking steps to try and reduce them. The changes could spark improvements and prevent some car accidents. However, even with a lower speed limit, many drivers will flout the law as they currently do. People who have been hurt or lost a loved one in an accident must know what can be done to hold speeding drivers accountable and recover for personal, physical, emotional and financial loss.