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Variable advisory speed limits may reduce crash numbers

A university study found that variable advisory speed limits may work better than the current system to prevent car accidents in construction zones. VASL systems work by posting an advisory speed limit based on the actual speed of traffic ahead of the driver. Implementation of the technology could work to improve traffic safety in Illinois. These systems may minimally decrease the speed of travel overall even though individual drivers are driving significantly slower.

The study indicated that VASL use led to a 53% decrease in the length of traffic lines along with an increased travel time of only 4 to 8%. Such a delay is nearly unnoticeable by most drivers. In addition, implementation of VASL systems lowered the chances of rear-end crashes by 30% due to decreasing the difference in maximum speeds by up to 10 miles per hour. The National Transportation Safety Board data shows that there are roughly 1.7 million rear-end crashes on highways in the U.S. each year, resulting in around 1,700 traffic fatalities and 500,000 traffic injuries.

According to the lead researcher on the project, the idea was to see if providing drivers with an early warning of reduced speeds ahead would help to lower the number of car accidents. The major improvement provided by VASL systems is the posting of a specific advisory speed limit on the road rather than posting a general message asking drivers to slow down.

Individuals who are injured in car accidents in Illinois may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. An attorney who has experience practicing personal injury law may be able to help by gathering documentary evidence, conducting witness interviews, deposing experts or otherwise building a case for trial. An attorney might negotiate a settlement with liable parties on behalf of the client or draft and file a civil complaint in cases that don’t settle.