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Higher Speed Limits May Cause More Car Accidents, Study Reports

Speeding car at night

Albuquerque, NM car accident lawyer explains why speeding is so dangerous.

Increasing the speed limit on highways often results in more car accidents, according to a recent study.

“It is critical to consider the safety implications when local transportation authorities contemplate making changes to posted speed limits,” said Diana Gugliotta, Director of Public Affairs at AAA Northeast.

So what exactly did researchers discover? How common are speeding accidents in general? And what about New Mexico? How bad are speeding-related car accidents here? Our New Mexico car accident attorney at Szantho Law Firm, P.C. in Albuquerque addresses all these important questions below.

Raising speed limits often results in more car accidents

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently conducted an in-depth study about the impact of raising or lowering the speed limit on the number of car accidents. In the study, researchers examined six highways where the speed limit was increased and six highways where the speed limit was decreased. Researchers discovered:

  • The number of car accidents increased on two highways with higher speed limits.
  • All six highways that had lower speed limits had fewer car accidents.
  • Travel times on all 12 highways in the study remained virtually the same. This is important since many people cite shorter travel times as the reason why speed limits should be increased.

“The movement in statehouses to raise speed limits is happening across the country,” said Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations for AAA. “But the benefits are overrated, and the risks are understated. Increasing speed limits does not always yield the positive results envisioned by traffic planners.”

Speeding-related accidents on the rise

In recent years, speeding-related car accidents have become increasingly common. In 2021, speeding-related fatalities increased for the third year in a row nationwide, according to the National Safety Council.

In 2021, 12,330 people died in speeding-related car accidents. That figure represents 29 percent of all car accident fatalities and was 7.9 percent higher than the year before, the AAA Foundation reported.

And while speeding-related deaths did decrease in 2022, they still accounted for 27 percent of all car accident fatalities, AAA reported. And compared to many previous years, that figure was still higher and cause for alarm for traffic safety officials.

How bad are speeding accidents in New Mexico?

Like the rest of the country, speeding-related accidents have increasingly become a common cause of collisions in New Mexico. In fact, the state set a new high point in 2021 for the most speeding-related car accidents in more than a decade.

In 2021, a total of 186 peopled died in speeding car accidents in New Mexico, according to accident data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That figure represents 38.6 percent of all car accident deaths in the state in 2021.

Speeding-related car accident deaths in New Mexico in 2021 were up 52.4 percent compared to 2012, when there were 122 speeding fatalities in the state, according to NHTSA data.

Why should I hire an Albuquerque car accident attorney?

Speeding-related car accidents in New Mexico might seem straightforward. Someone was going too fast and crashed into your car. Unfortunately, many of these car accidents turn out to be complicated legal battles. That’s because drivers who cause such collisions often deny doing anything wrong and insurance companies simply refuse to pay injury victims.

This is why you need an experienced New Mexico car accident lawyer on your side, looking out for your best interests. Attorney Andras Szantho and his dedicated legal team at the Szantho Law Firm, P.C. in Albuquerque will work with you to build the strongest possible legal case. That way, you can focus on what matters most – your recovery.

Put your trust in a law firm that puts your needs first. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation with a New Mexico car accident attorney driven to succeed. We work on a contingency fee basis. That means you only pay us if we obtain a financial settlement or verdict for you.

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