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Increasing Speed Limits Lead to Increased Accident Fatalities

Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Jun 02, 2016 in Auto Accidents

cars on highwayRaising maximum speed limits across the country has caused an unfortunate increase in the number of accident fatalities, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Over the past two decades, approximately 33,000 lives were lost in accidents directly related to increased maximum speed limits. Researchers analyzed increases in 41 states over a 20-year period from 1993 to 2013.

Studying accident deaths per billion miles traveled in each state and by type of roadway, researchers found that each maximum speed limit increase of 5 mph also increased fatalities by four percent. Interstates and freeways were the type of roadways where most maximum speed limit increases took place – fatality rates increased 8 percent on these roadways.

Researchers noted that overall accident fatality rates did drop during the study period, but those totals could have been far lower had maximum speed limits not increased.

In 2013 alone, there were 1,900 additional fatalities tied to increased maximum speed limits; this number is equivalent to the number of lives saved by seatbelts the same year.

By the end of the study period, only Texas and Utah had speed limits over 75 mph. Speed limits have continued to increase; now six states have roadways with 80 mph speed limits, and certain roadways in Texas have 85 mph maximum speed limits. Many other states have traded 65 mph speed limits in favor of new 70 mph maximums.

Those in favor of speed limit increases say the states are merely aligning speed limits with reality, as drivers are already traveling faster. In reality, raised speed limits lead to drivers also speeding at higher rates.

If your loved one was killed in an accident that was the fault of another driver, your family may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering. Contact our Fort Worth car accident attorneys for a free, no obligation consultation.

Call (877) 920-9009 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form today.