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Auto Accidents Force Florida to Lower Speed Limit on Interstate 4

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on July 17, 2013

Drivers passing through Central Florida on Interstate 4 may need to add some travel time as they head north or south through Volusia County. State highway officials recently announced that they are lowering the speed limit on a 14-mile stretch of I-4 due to construction work and the inordinately high number of accidents recently. Officials are lowering the limit from 70 mph to 60 mph for the affected portion of I-4 after dozens of accidents were reported over the last couple of months. A spokesperson said a traffic study concluded before the construction began found that lowering the speed limit would not be necessary while the road was resurfaced.

However, an average of one crash a day in the 14-mile portion since work began caused Florida Highway Patrol troopers to apply pressure to state officials to rethink their position. All that currently separates northbound and southbound traffic traveling at 70 mph is a concrete barrier, which was not enough to prevent a dump truck from crossing the barrier and continuing into oncoming traffic after losing control recently.

"The roads are narrow," driver Livia Horen said. "You can almost reach your hand out and reach the other car in the other lane."

The high accident rates on this portion of Interstate 4 bring up an interesting topic that few outside the legal community understand. Everyone understands how the actions of a negligent driver can cause an accident, but not many know that the state or county can also be liable in an auto accident if certain conditions contribute to an accident, such as these:

  • Poor road design
    Creates hazardous conditions for drivers, such as poor sightlines, inadequate signage, pinch points, dangerous obstacles, reverse slope on curves, unsafe speed limits in construction zones and other hazards
  • Poor road maintenance
    Results in dangerous conditions such as deep potholes, abrupt drop-offs, overgrown foliage, insufficient snow and ice removal, etc.

Florida is one of the few states in the country that does not have “Sovereign Immunity,” which shields the state from liability due to negligence in road design, road maintenance and other wrongdoing. However, there are strict guidelines that must be followed before a state, county or municipality can be liable for damages. If you or a member of your immediate family were injured in an accident caused by poor road design, construction or maintenance, or these were a contributing factor, you may be entitled to damages.

Your best option may be to consult with an experienced Orlando personal injury attorney such as James O. Cunningham. In nearly four decades of practicing law and helping injured people, Mr. Cunningham has successfully represented countless injured people against negligent drivers and negligence on the part of the State of Florida and Central Florida Counties. He has the experience, legal skills and resources to build an effective case against those responsible for the accident and has been awarded many prestigious citations for professionalism and performance. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with Mr. Cunningham, call him today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587).

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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