Many Texas residents are aware that authorities recently raised the speed limit on the I30 toll road. The speed limit is now 85 miles-per-hour, making it the highest in the nation. That speed limit applies to the 41 mile portion of the highway spanning from Austin to Seguin.
A car accident that occurred over the weekend caused what authorities say is the first fatality on the toll road since the higher speed limit went into effect last month. It is still not clear whether high speed was a factor in causing the crash.
A 60-year-old woman died after her Honda Civic was struck by a Chevrolet Tahoe. A spokesperson from the Department of Public Safety told reporters that initial evidence from the crash scene indicated that the woman's car was perpendicular to the flow of traffic when the two cars collided, but that they don't know why.
Speed is a factor in about one-third of fatal car accidents in the United States, and experts say that as speed increases, the likelihood of a fatal car accident also increases. In general, drivers who are driving at very high speeds are violating the law and are considered to be acting recklessly. However, on I30, drivers traveling at a speed that would normally be considered reckless are not violating the law. This means that absent other unlawful conduct like drunk driving, there would be little recourse for a car accident victim who was harmed by the high speed of a crash.
Texas residents who are injured by reckless or negligent drivers can recover in a civil lawsuit or through the driver's insurance policy.
Source: Houston Chronicle, "Death revives questions about high-speed toll road," Vianna Davila, Nov. 12, 2012.
Information about compensation for car accident victims in El Paso is available on our website.