Increased Speed Limits Causing More Fatal Crashes
June 17, 2016
In a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), rising speed limits have been tied to 33,000 deaths during the last twenty years. An additional 1,900 fatalities occurred in 2013 alone, cancelling out the amount of lives saved by frontal airbags.
Since 1995, speed limits have gradually increased and states now control their maximum limits. However, during the ”˜70s and ”˜80s, state speed limits were constrained to 55 miles per hour due to the threat of financial repercussions. Because of concerns over available fuel, Congress had passed legislation to cap speed limits, which reduced the number of fatalities.
When the federal government relaxed the limit in 1987, speeds increased to 65 miles per hour on country roads and the law was abolished in 1995.
Rising Speed Limit Dangers
The IIHS study revealed that increased speed limits are associated with a rise in fatalities and these deaths counter the Vision Zero philosophy that many states have adopted to cancel out all vehicle-related deaths.
Proponents of increasing speed limits insist the increases align the law with how fast most people drive. Yet, as limits are raised, motorists tend to drive faster than posted speed limits, negating the argument.
The IIHS study discovered that the number of fatalities rose on rural roads when the law was partially appealed in 1987 and again in 1995 on all interstates when the law was done away abolished.
Even though fatality rates dropped during the study’s time frame of 1993 to 2013, the study’s author stated the number of deaths would have been less had states not elected to bump up their maximum speed limits. He also thinks 33,000 is too low of an estimate for the total number of fatalities linked to higher speed limits.
In this study of 41 states, for every five miles per hour increase, a four percent fatality hike occurred. On interstates, the hike was more dramatic with an eight percent upswing.
If you have been seriously hurt in a car crash, experienced auto accident attorneys are available to fight for justice on your behalf. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries, pain, lost income and medical bills. Contact Phillips Law Group today to set up your legal consultation and have our attorneys review your claim for free.
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