Rising speed limits throughout the country have caused the number of fatal traffic accidents to rise. From 1993 to 2013, increased speed limits led to an additional 33,000 traffic accident fatalities.
In a recent study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that when states raised their maximum speed limits, accident fatalities also increased; for every 5 mph maximum speed limit increase, the fatality rate increased four percent.
By examining the number of traffic deaths occurring per billion vehicle miles travelled in 41 states over a 20-year period, researchers estimated maximum speed limit increases led to the additional deaths. The fatality rate on freeways and interstates was most greatly impacted, rising to eight percent.
After Congress relaxed and later repealed the National Maximum Speed Law, states gradually raised their speed limits. The increase in fatalities was first recognized as speed limits started to rise on rural interstates, but later affected all interstates when the country-wide maximum speed limit of 55 mph was repealed.
An estimated 1,900 additional accident fatalities took place in 2013 alone – a number equal to the amount of lives saved by frontal airbags that same year.
Advocates of increasing maximum speed limits say it’s necessary because drivers are already traveling at higher rates, but data has shown that raising speed limits is causing drivers to speed even faster.
In the past three years, which were not accounted for in the study, speed limits have further increased. There are now seven states with speed limits 80 mph and higher, versus two in 2013.
If a speeding driver caused an accident that killed someone you love, your family may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering. The Harrisburg auto accident attorneys at Schmidt Kramer can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.