While the carpool lane is designed to benefit drivers with passengers, it seems some may be more trouble than they are worth.
In a study released by the Texas Transportation Institute, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV or carpool) lanes that are not separated from regular lanes with physical barriers experience a 41-56% increase in car accidents than normal lanes. Now, newer freeways are beginning to segregate HOV lanes from the rest of the highway.
Our car accident lawyers are aware that car pool lanes were created to encourage people to car pool so that there would be less cars on the road not to mention less pollution. However, HOV lanes – result in speeding for some carpoolers — might just be the reason for the sharp increase in car accident statistics.
During rush hour, carpoolers regularly travel between 21 and 35 mph faster than drivers in regular lanes. This speed differential has led to HOV drivers causing serious personal injuries in rear-end car accidents with other drivers that are attempting to merge into their lane. Car accident statistics for the lane closest to HOV lanes have thus increased by 153-188%.
A lot of these problems are due to speeding and improper lane changing. Speeding lowers a driver’s time to react something in front of them and also results in deadlier car accidents. Since HOV lanes are clearly designed for drivers to speed faster than normal cars on the road, it stands to reason that they would cause more car accidents than normal. Improper lane changes add to car accident statistics as drivers are not paying attention to where they are going. These drivers are causing car accidents when they merge into another lane that is still occupied.
That is why federal environmental regulators are strongly favoring the segregation of HOV lanes from the general highway.
By placing barriers between HOV and regular lanes, authorities can now limit the opportunities for car accidents caused by merging traffic at differing speeds. There will only be a select few opportunities for drivers to merge with the HOV lanes, and, as a result, there should be fewer car accidents. So, in our opinion, the solid barriers’ costs is warranted due to these alarming statistics.
Our firm’s experienced car accident lawyers support any change to roads that have driver safety in mind, preventing personal injuries that might require years of medical treatment to remedy. The environmental impacts of rewarding carpoolers are very important to us as well. With fewer cars on the road, not only is there less pollution but fewer cars also mean fewer car accidents. Why not find a way to make sure that these two common goals cannot be reached together?
If you were injured and believe that you deserve compensation, then call our bilingual law offices right away at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney and find out how we can help you. We look forward to providing good advice for your case. There is no fee if no recovery.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines