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Higher speed limits and fatalities

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2017 | Car Accidents

According to a 2016 study from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, higher speed limits over the last 20 years have resulted in 33,000 deaths in Connecticut and the rest of the country. The report, which examined accidents occurring between 1993 and 2013, found increased speed limits led to 1,900 deaths in 2013, even as frontal airbags saved close to the same number of lives during the same year.

According to the author of the study, the fatality rates did drop during the researched period. However, the rates would have been significantly lower if the states had not decided to increase speed limits.

States have the authority to set maximum speed limits, which have been increasing since 1995. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, state speed limits were maintained at 55 mph due to fear of financial consequences as Congress made the adoption of the speed limit a condition of receiving highway funds. While the National Maximum Speed Limit was passed due to concerns about the availability of fuel, one of the outcomes was a declining number of fatalities.

As anxiety about energy lessened, Congress allowed states to increase the speed limits on rural interstates to 65 mph in 1987. In 1955, Congress repealed the law.

Advocates for increased speed limits assert that the law is necessary as a majority of drivers tend to top the speed limit. However, drivers tend to driver faster when the limit is increased.

Researchers at the IIHS discovered that after the repeal of the National Maximum Speed Limit, there was a rise in travel speeds. They also determined that the number of fatalities increased, starting with an increase in deaths on rural interstates.

Individuals who are injured in car accidents may wish to speak with a personal injury attorney. The attorney may pursue financial damages against the parties whose negligent behavior resulted in a T-bone accident, rear-end collision or a hit and run.

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