Will Reversible HOV Toll Lanes on I-75 Increase Car Accidents?
While the new I-75 Henry County toll road project is intended to relieve the heavy traffic on this freeway faced by commuters traveling from their homes in Henry County and Clayton County into the city of Atlanta, there have been critics that suggest the design of the toll road is confusing and will promote car accidents.
The essential element of the HOV reversible lane toll road is to use middle lanes that separate Northbound and Southbound traffic that will be "reversible." Essentially, these lanes will flow in the direction of traffic congestion so they provide additional lanes into Atlanta during the morning commute and provide additional lanes out of Atlanta during the evening commute. Some portions of the I-75 toll lanes will have two lanes while other sections will only have one lane that changes direction based on the time of the day.
There are concerns that the practice of having lanes change direction based on the time of day, particularly when the number of lanes that change direction depend on a specific section of I-75, will confuse motorists and cause collisions. The barriers and signage used to prevent motorists from entering the freeway in the wrong direction are critically important for preventing head-on collisions in reversible traffic lanes.
While other states use reversible HOV lanes, the verdict is still out on whether they cause a spike in car accident rates. In Virginia, one major roadway saw accident rates triple from the year prior to using reversible lanes, but transportation experts in the state claim that the one year time frame and limited number of accidents did not provide a legitimate basis to generalize the results of the study. However, one state legislator who commented on the reversible lane design contends that reversible lanes that have ramps open during certain hours and closed at others can be confusing even for attentive and sober drivers. "It just seems to me that it's a bad design. I've been driving stone sober and at a moderate speed, and it's frightening," he said.
This issue is one that is likely to get much more focus if a sudden rise in car accidents occurs on I-75 once the reversible HOV lanes are open. When the city of Atlanta, state of Georgia or other public entities design unsafe roadways, the public entity can be exposed to liability for injuries caused by drivers that are confused by the road design. Because public entities have extensive resources to use when defending against this type of motor vehicle accident claim, you should seek legal representation from experienced Georgia defective roadway car accident attorneys.
If you or a family member has been injured in any type of accident, call the Georgia personal injury lawyers at Montlick and Associates 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your free consultation when you call 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333).
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