For decades, traffic safety experts have advised motorists to slow down when weather or traffic make driving hazardous. In fact, driving too fast for prevailing conditions is a major cause of serious and fatal car accidents. Now, a series of electronic signs along I-94 posts “advisory speed limits” calculated for current weather and traffic conditions in each location. While this new system is intended to reduce crashes on one of the deadlier stretches of I-94, some accidents are unavoidable.
If you or a loved one is injured, our experienced car accident lawyers will protect your rights and win the compensation you deserve.
Most winter accidents occur when drivers travel too fast for the road and weather conditions. When roads are icy or snow is falling, driving at the posted speed limits can be dangerous. The new signs are designed to remind motorists to slow down to the speed limit deemed safe for the current conditions.
The idea of installing electronic signs with advisory speed limits arose from a MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) safety audit of the 143-miles stretch of I-94 from the Michigan-Indiana border to U.S. 127 on the east side of the city of Jackson. The study was initiated in 2015 after a 193-vehicle crash that killed one person, injured 20 others and shut down both sides of the highway for two days.
The report contained several statistics that reinforced the need for advisory speed limit signs:
Crashes involving speeding vehicles are often deadlier because drivers have less time to react when another car swerves in front of them or stops suddenly. Furthermore, the impact of a crash is greater when one or both vehicles are traveling at high speeds, increasing the likelihood of serious injuries or death.
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A total of 14 signs were installed on both sides of I-94, between western Kalamazoo and Berrien counties, at the following locations:
For eastbound traffic
For westbound traffic
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The suggested speeds are calculated by an algorithm based on data provided by sensors that evaluate various factors such as air temperature, road temperature, wind speed, precipitation levels and visibility.
Although the majority of the signs will post advisory speed limits based on weather conditions, the full-color electronic displays can also be used to inform drivers about other traffic situations such as accidents, low-visibility and lane closures.
The speed limits shown on the signs are intended to advise motorists of the safest speed for the current driving conditions in a specific location. They are not legally enforceable.
However, the new signs do not change the existing Michigan traffic law allowing police officers to issue citations when someone is driving too fast for weather or traffic conditions.
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These tips can help prevent accidents in wintry weather and throughout the year:
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If you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident, we can help. Our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys have the skills, experience and resources necessary to win the compensation you and your family deserve.
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