On some Oklahoma highways, the posted speed limit is 75 m.p.h., but newly proposed legislation may change that.
Recently, Rep. Daniel Pae (District 62-Republican) proposed House Bill 1071, which, if passed, would increase the speed limit on some highway portions from 75 mph to 80 mph.
“Quite a few states already this in place. Texas even in some places have up to 85 miles per hour. This is something I think a lot of people already do, so we’re making that in the statute, making it legal through this bill,” Pae said in a statement.
The key language in the bill reads, “The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is hereby authorized to prescribe maximum and minimum speeds for trucks, buses and automobiles using turnpikes; provided, however, a speed limit of eighty (80) miles per hour shall be set for portions of toll roads located outside the city limits of any municipality of this state.”
The higher the speed, the greater the risk
While it may seem like a higher speed limit would save Oklahoma drivers more time, it increases the risk of catastrophic and fatal accidents. When the speed limit increases, so does the general speed traveled by drivers. This means that drivers who typically traveled 80 m.p.h. in 75 m.p.h. zones may now increase their speed to 85 m.p.h. or more.
A traffic jam or other obstruction on a road with a speed limit of 80 m.p.h. can be dangerous for all road users. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety identifies three risk factors related to speed:
- The distance traveled increases from the time drivers detect potential collision hazards to the time they react.
- It increases stopping distance once brakes have been applied.
- It increases the impact of a crash. The greater the speed, the higher the impact.
According to research conducted by the IIHS, lowering the speed limit has proven to reduce traffic accidents.
One city that has seen positive results is Boston. After lowering the speed limit from 30 m.p.h. to 25 m.p.h. within city limits in 2017, the likelihood of drivers exceeding more than 35 m.p.h. fell by 29.3 percent.
Injured in a speed-related crash? Don’t wait to take action.
Speed-related accidents often result in some of the most debilitating injuries to those impacted. If you or a loved one was struck by a driver who was exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for the given conditions, you need an experienced Oklahoma car accident attorney in your corner.
At Lawter & Associates, our highly skilled and knowledgeable legal team will investigate the cause of your crash and help you build a strong claim against the negligent driver and his or her insurance company.
Don’t wait to take action. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.