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You’re driving to work in California when suddenly you realize that traffic is stopped in front of you. You slam on the brakes and pray that you don’t collide with another vehicle. If you’re lucky, you stop just in time. But if you’re not so lucky, you could end up rear-ending someone else’s vehicle and causing a multi-car pile-up.

Obstacles on the highway are hard to avoid, and many drivers don’t notice that traffic is stopped until it’s too late. Fortunately, new research suggests that variable speed limits might be able to prevent accidents on the highway.

What are variable speed limits?

Variable speed limits involve a digital sign that adjusts to let drivers know how quickly the traffic is moving. For example, if traffic is moving normally, the sign might read “60 mph.” If traffic is slowed, the sign might read “20 mph.” Instead of traditional road signs, which have no way of warning people about stopped traffic ahead, variable speed limits can help them prepare for slow traffic.

As a result, this could reduce the frequency of motor vehicle accidents. A study in St. Louis showed that variable speed limits help drivers adjust to slower traffic. Instead of being surprised at the last minute, they can slow their speed gradually and avoid rear-ending other vehicles. The study noted that the risk of motor vehicle accidents dropped by 30%.

What should you do if you’re hit by another vehicle?

If somebody’s not paying attention, an everyday commute can turn into a catastrophe. Instead of going to work, you could find yourself heading to the hospital to treat broken bones and other injuries. If you’re injured by another driver, an attorney may be able to help you file a lawsuit to compensate for your bills and lost wages.

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