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The role vehicle speed plays in traffic fatalities

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2023 | car accidents | 0 comments

Many people living in Tennessee and across the nation follow fast-paced lifestyles, and some states have increased their speed limits in certain areas as a result. Yet, studies show that the odds of a car wreck increase quite a bit when speed limits increase, raising questions about whether increasing speed limits is a smart move.

Per Consumer Reports, 41 states increased highway speed limits to at least 70 mph after the abolishment of a nationwide 55-mph highway speed limit in 1995. Some states made their highway speed limits even higher in the aftermath, raising them to 80 mph in some areas.

How speed limits impact fatality rates

Research shows that when a speed limit increases by 5 mph, road deaths in that area also increase by 8.5%. Overall, traffic deaths have decreased across the United States since 1993. However, this likely has little to do with speed limits and more to do with the fact that cars and roadway travel, in general, have become safer in other ways. New technologies and features, such as automatic emergency braking, are helping save some of the lives that would have otherwise been lost due to motorists traveling at high speeds.

How many people are dying due to higher speed limits

Studies suggest that, in the last 25 years, about 37,000 people lost their lives on the nation’s roads due to communities adopting rising speed limits. This is about the same number of people killed in all types of car crashes that took place across the nation over the course of each of the last few years.

Drivers or passengers who suffer serious injuries because of other motorists’ actions may have grounds for a personal injury case.