Lawmakers raised the speed limit along many of Michigan’s rural highways in 2017. Motorists who were once only able to lawfully travel 70 miles per hour (mph) along these roadways can now drive up to 75 mph. Injury crashes have soared since the speed limit has been increased along certain portions of U.S. Highways 127, 31, 10 and 127 and Interstates 75 and 69.
Police reports from the areas where the speed limits have been increased show that an increasing number of motorists are being stopped for traveling more than 80 mph. Their data captures how the average motorist is driving at least 2 mph over what they were before the law was enacted.
A recent Bridge Magazine study shows the difference in crash and injury rates that occur along highways where the speed limits have been increased versus ones where they haven’t been. The crash and injury rates on Michigan’s highways in general hovers around 3.4% and .9% respectively. The indexes for the roadways where the speed limit has been increased are 17.2% and 18.9%.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) data shows that traffic fatalities often decrease along with reductions in speed limits. An IIHS spokesperson also pointed out that one of the reasons why high-speed crashes often result in serious injuries or death is because they leave motorists with very little time to make life-saving decisions.
Lawmakers who backed the legislation argue that they focused their attention on selecting the safest and straightest freeways when determining where to up speed limits. The legislators reportedly reviewed road design, traffic volumes and crash statistics as part of this process.
Many of the lawmakers argue that they’d readily place their stamp of approval on the legislation again, even though crash rates have increased. The legislators point out that there hasn’t been enough data collected to see what type of long-term impact the increase in speed will have yet.
It’s common for individuals who are involved in high-speed crashes to suffer spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis or brain damage that significantly diminishes their cognitive function. Both of these outcomes may leave an individual needing a lifetime of specialized medical care. A personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation that you need to pay your immediate and future medical expenses here. Let your Rochester lawyer be your hands-on partner and fight for you.