In Alabama, every road has a speed limit that drivers are expected to follow. These speed limits exist for motorist safety. Our Montgomery accident lawyers know that the faster you are traveling, the greater the chances of becoming involved in an auto accident. High-speed crashes are also more likely to be deadly because a car that is moving faster will collide with more force.
Unfortunately, many drivers choose to exceed the speed limit despite the dangers. As a result, speed is the number one factor in causing Alabama car accidents that result in fatalities. A recent article published on the website of The News Courier also indicated that speeding combined with high traffic volumes can be especially deadly.
Speeding & High Traffic Don't Mix
When analyzing crash data in Alabama from 2007 through 2011, it is easy to identify certain specific areas where a high number of fatal accidents occur. The high rates of death in these areas can be explained by both the traffic congestion and by the fact that drivers often exceed the speed limit within these particular locations.
The News Courier identified six of the locations where there are an abnormally high number of fatal accidents. These locations include:
- Interstate 20/59 at Arkadelphia Road. Along Arkadelphia Road, there are around 40,000 cars each day while the Interstate has upwards of 140,000 travelers. Twelve crashes and 13 deaths occurred in this area.
- Interstates 65 and 459. These areas saw more than 100,000 cars each day. Seven crashes occurred in this high-traffic pocket, resulting in ten fatalities.
- Interstate 20/59 from 1st Avenue North to Roebuck Parkway. Between 55,000 and 70,000 vehicles travel here daily. Seven crashes, including three single vehicle accidents, occurred and resulted in seven deaths.
- U.S. 78 from Cherry to Dugan Ave. Six crashes and six deaths occurred in this area where between 40,000 and 45,000 cars travel each day. Two of the deaths were pedestrians.
- Interstate 65-Interstate 20/59. Traffic counts exceed 125,000 vehicles. Six deaths resulted from six accidents.
- Interstate 20/59 at Tallapoosa Street. As many as 151,000 cars each day travel through this stretch of road. Five deaths and five crashes occurred here.
These specific areas represent a high number of the total deaths that occurred in Shelby and Jefferson Counties. From 2007 to 2011, there were a total of 537 fatal accidents within these counties and 590 people died. Many of the deaths could have been prevented if drivers did not speed so much through these high traffic zones.
When a driver chooses to speed, he may lose control of his vehicle. He may also be unable to stop or get out of the way if the car in front of him stops or if he approaches an accident or an obstacle. All of these are among the reasons why speeding causes crashes, especially in areas of peak congestion.