No Higher Speed Limits on Major DC Commuter Routes After All

On December 18, Mayor Vincent Gray announced that several of the major commuter routes in DC would be seeing higher speed limits. While this may come as a welcome convenience for many drivers, Washington, D.C. car accident attorneys know that higher speeds also present higher risks. The D.C. Council must have agreed, as it issued a new rule prohibiting the mayor from changing the speed limits without its approval.

In making the announcement, Mayor Gray cited a study showing that higher speed limits would not affect the safety of the roads. However, even if the study’s findings suggest no impact on safety, it only makes logical sense that a higher speed of traffic would mean more significant injuries in accidents, even if not a higher incidence of accidents overall.

In overriding the mayor, the council said that instead of simply choosing four streets on which to raise the speed limits, the council would rather see more extensive research and deliberation. The mayor’s decision, a council spokesperson said, usurps the council’s authority to set speed limits. The mayor’s office responded that setting speed limits was within the purview of the mayor’s powers because it is a regulatory function, not a legislative one.

According to the latest data, which reports on accident statistics from 2007 to 2009, there are upwards of 15,000 collisions each year in D.C. Although Mayor Gray said that the speed limits were increased on roads that don’t see much if any pedestrians and carry faster moving traffic, most car accident attorneys would likely agree that there should be ample research to support raising speed limits before implementation. While it may be convenient for many commuters to be able to go five miles per hour faster on a few roads, the council has a good point that raising the speed limit on four streets may not be the best way to make change.

Car accidents can occur even at very low speeds. A slow-moving eighteen-wheeler truck that rear-ends a small sedan can still cause serious injury, or even death. Similarly, pedestrians can sustain significant injuries if hit by a car moving even very slowly. If you have been involved in a car accident, regardless of the speed of the cars involved, you may suffer neck and back pain, and your car or other property may also have been damaged. An experienced DC car accident attorney can answer your questions and help you sort out your options.

The car accident attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are dedicated to helping people in the Washington, D.C. area who have been injured in car accidents due to the negligence of others. Contact us online, or call us toll-free at 800-654-1949, to schedule your free confidential consultation.

Related Blog Posts:
Washington DC Ranks Last in Annual Ranking of “Best Drivers;” Surrounding Areas Also Fare Poorly, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, October 5, 2012
Cars Collide with Washington DC-Area Fire Engines; Police Remind Drivers of State “Move-Over” Laws, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, September 13, 2012

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