Austin, Texas (PRWEB) November 01, 2012
Texas car accident lawyer Don R. Cotton today expressed concern that the 85 mph speed limit on a recently opened toll road near Austin could magnify the threat of serious injuries in car crashes if motorists don’t obey the law and fail to follow safe driving practices.
The stretch of Texas Highway 130 from Mustang Ridge, south of Austin, to Seguin, opened Oct. 24 to much fanfare. The reason: it has the highest speed limit in the country.
“The 85 mph speed limit could be seen as an invitation to push the limits even further and drive at unsafe speeds, resulting in accidents,” said Cotton, who practices with The Bob Richardson Law Firm in Austin and Waco, where he focuses on assisting accident victims and their families in personal injury and wrongful death cases. “Regardless of the posted speed limit, drivers need to make sure they pay attention to road conditions and drive safely.”
Cotton said that drivers on the new toll road could still be held responsible for causing crashes if they failed to slow down for inclement weather or heavy traffic, even if they were traveling the posted speed.
Parts of western Texas and Utah already had 80 mph speed limits in place, but the new 85 mph threshold in Texas is unprecedented. The new stretch of road opened under a public-private arrangement that included an extra $100 million payment from SH 130 Concession Company, the firm that built the road, to the Texas Department of Transportation for setting the higher speed limit.
The Texas Department of Transportation, which has been increasing speed limits throughout the state highway system, says the speed limit is safe for the road, according to an article in the Austin American-Statesman.
Critics say higher speed limits are dangerous and lead to more accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety told NBC News when the toll road opened that higher speed limits lead to more crash fatalities.
A 2009 study printed in the American Journal of Public Health found that in the more than 10 years since repeal of the federally mandated nationwide 65 mph speed limit, an estimated 12,545 deaths could be attributed to the increased speed limits.
“These higher speed limits must be accompanied by vigilant enforcement of those speed limits, along with enforcement of laws against other reckless and dangerous behaviors such as drunk driving, tailgating and aggressive driving,” Cotton said.
Cotton also called for increased laws regarding distracted driving in Texas. While 39 states ban texting while driving for all drivers, Texas is not among them. Cell phone use, including texting, is banned for all new drivers and drivers of buses carrying children in Texas. Use of handheld phones and texting is also banned in Texas school zones.
“Can you imagine someone driving down the road at 85 mph while texting or dialing their phone?” Cotton said. “Distracted driving is a serious problem in Texas. Texting and all other cell phone use should be more restricted for all drivers, especially on roads with such fast speed limits.”
Cotton urged those who have been hurt by speeding or reckless drivers to seek counsel from an experienced Texas car accident attorney to obtain compensation for their injuries.
About The Bob Richardson Law Firm
The Bob Richardson Law Firm is a highly respected Texas personal injury and Social Security disability law firm. The firm is dedicated to providing skilled and professional legal services to clients in cases involving car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, drunk driving accidents, construction accidents, workplace accidents and slip-and-fall accidents as well as representation to those seeking benefits for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The firm features offices in Austin and Waco and assists clients throughout Round Rock, Georgetown, Killeen, Temple, Cedar Park, Lakeway, Taylor, Belton and surrounding Texas communities. The firm’s principal office is located at 812 San Antonio St., Suite 300, Austin, TX 78701 (local phone (512) 472-5100). To learn more about The Bob Richardson Law Firm, call (800) 880-5100 or use the firm’s online contact form.