Increased Speed Limits Lead To More Fatalities

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Speed limits in New York and around the country have been rising since 1995. However, according to research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, this caused an estimated 33,000 road fatalities between 1993 and 2013. The increase resulted in an additional 1,900 deaths in 2013 alone.

For many years, Congress required states to cap speed limits at 55 mph due to a concern over dwindling fuel resources. Once fuel availability increased, Congress released many of the speed restrictions in 1987, allowing states to set their own limits. Some argue that raising the speed limits was only accepting the reality of how fast drivers actually drive. Others believe that raising speed limits only encourages drivers to go faster since many routinely drive faster than the posted speed limit.

The limits have continued to increase since the National Maximum Speed Limit was repealed. In fact, some roads in Texas allow for speeds up to 85 mph, and six other states have maximum speed limits of 80 mph. The study documented the effects of speed limit increases between 1993 and 2013 in 41 states. Comparing the normal rate of car accident fatalities against the new number after the speed increases determined the 33,000 additional deaths. Unfortunately, research has also shown that the trend to drive faster is only increasing and shows no signs of decline.

Driving too fast for road conditions or in excess of the posted speed limit can constitute negligence if it results in a car collision. Occupants of other vehicles who have been injured as a result might want to have a lawyer help to obtain compensation from the at-fault motorist for the losses that have been sustained.