Is it Time for Florida to Slow Down?
Depending on the outcome of pending legislation, Florida drivers may soon find themselves taking the pedal off the metal. This is because the Florida legislature is currently considering lowering average speed limits across the state, from the current average of 45 mph to 25 mph in some areas. The current speed limit on most city, commercial and residential streets in 30 mph. School zones are 15 to 20 mph.
The initiative is in response to the increasing number of deadly Florida automobile accidents, including many that involve pedestrians and bicycles. According to a study by the AA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 90% of pedestrians hit by a vehicle going 60 mph die. At 40 mph the number decreases to 50%. At 25 mph only 10% are killed.
In Florida, the increase in deaths can be traced back to 1996, when the Florida legislature increased speed limits to 70 mph on interstates, 65 mph on four-lane highways outside urban areas, and 55 – 60 mph on narrower state highways. An effort to increase interstate speeds to 75 mph was vetoed by the governor in 2014.
The proposed reductions are just one component of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Complete Streets initiative, which aims to tailor speed limits to the realities of different towns, cities and counties. In addition to the reduced speed limits, there are also plans to narrow streets, improve transit connections, add dedicated bike lanes, introduce roundabouts, increase the width of sidewalks and implement obstacles to deter jaywalking.
Needless to say, all of these measures, and in particular the lowering of speed limits, should be good news for Florida drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians alike. However, the unfortunate fact is that regardless of what the legal speed limit is, all too many drivers disregard it. Thus, one of the leading causes of negligent driving in an Orlando personal injury claim is that the driver was speeding and that this act of speeding is what cause the car accident and the resulting injuries.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a speeding driver, you have the legal right to seek compensation. To learn more, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. today.
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.