Whether traveling along one of the great scenic Kentucky roadways or cruising down the interstate, the potential for running into very slow-moving traffic is a constant danger. Construction zone delays are common occurrences and can lead to dangerous situations when sudden traffic backups lead to motor vehicle accidents. However, a new study suggests that construction zones and similar slow traffic areas could become much safer with variable speed limits.

Actual traffic data improved traffic flow

The common method to deal with construction zones and similar traffic obstructions is to post signs warning drivers. The signs might even warn of a change in speed limits ahead, but that does not reduce the accident potential. A traffic study recently done by the University of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Transportation found it preferable to post adaptive traffic warnings that indicate the actual speed of traffic through the congested sections.

More effective speed adjustments

When provided with accurate information on the actual traffic speed going through construction areas and other congested sections, drivers have an easier time adjusting to traffic conditions. They can assess their current speed and know how much they should slow down to match the speed of traffic in the congested area. The study showed that the adaptive traffic speed warnings reduced rear-end collisions by about 30% and lane-changing accidents by about 20%.

Shorter delays and smoother traffic flow

The adaptive speed warnings also help to reduce congestion in construction zones by enabling generally higher traffic speeds instead of sudden backups and stoppages. Drivers have ample time to adjust their relative speed and approach more safely rather than running into stopped traffic or extreme backups. That shortens the actual length of roadway impacted by the slowed traffic, which contributes to the improved safety data reported by the study.

The study affirms that drivers have a great deal of control over accidents, especially when provided with accurate data on slower traffic speeds ahead. If a driver does cause an accident, they may be found negligent and responsible for any resulting injuries. A Fort Thomas-area attorney who is experienced in motor vehicle accident litigation may be able to help when you are injured in a car accident.