A new study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) proves that when speed limits are raised, so do fatal car accidents.
The study was conducted over the 20 year period from 1993 to 2013 and monitored the effects that raising speed limits had across 41 states. The results were grim, revealing an estimated 33,000 deaths occurred during the study period. These deaths may have been avoided if the speed limits had not been raised.
The IIHS included other factors when calculating the results of the data they collected which took into account the deaths per billion miles traveled by state and type of roadway, number of drivers between the ages of 16 to 24 and alcohol consumption per capita. It was revealed that a four percent increase in fatalities occurred for every 5 mph increase of the maximum speed limit.
The number of fatalities rose to 8 percent per 5 mph increase on freeways and interstates.
Maximum speed limits were set at 55 mph by Congress in 1973. That decision was not made in the interest of safety, but due to concerns over the uncertain availability of fuel at the time. It was only after the measure had been in place for a while that it started to become clear that a decrease in automobile crash fatalities was a welcome side effect. After approving an increase to 65 mph on rural interstates in 1987, the measure was repealed entirely in 1995 and states were allowed to set their own speed limits. At this time, six states have raised their maximum limit on some roads to 80 mph.
Accidents at high speeds can have devastating consequences. If you or someone you love have been involved in a crash you believe was the result of a speeding driver, our personal injury attorneys have the experience and knowledge to evaluate your case and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
If you would like to have your case evaluated free of charge by one of our helpful and Knoxville auto accident attorneys, contact us.