A recent study tells us that when the speed limit rises, more people die. As reported by MotorTrend.com, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety determined 37,000 Americans were killed over the past 25 years because of increased speed limits.
Charles Farmer, IIHS vice president for research and statistical services, studied every state that changed its maximum speed limit from 1993-2017. He found a 5 mph increase in the maximum speed limit was associated with an 8 percent increase in highway fatalities.
These numbers are an issue because:
- 41 states have a maximum speed limit of 70 mph or higher (New Mexico’s maximum is 75 mph)
- 6 states have an 80-mph limit
- Drivers in Texas can drive 85 mph on some roads. Texas is among the high-speed-limit states, along with Montana, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming, with a higher frequency of fatalities
How Higher Speed Limits Cause More Deaths
Higher speed limits:
- Increase a vehicle’s stopping distance. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a car traveling at 55 mph needs 265 feet to come to stop. That distance increases to 344 feet at 65 mph and 387 feet at 70 mph. Those numbers are under ideal road conditions, when a motorist reacts quickly – a slick roadway or a delay of even a split second on the part of the driver could mean tragedy.
- Increase crash energy, and the odds of major injury or vehicle damage, exponentially. When the impact speed increases from 40 to 60 mph (50 percent), the energy on a vehicle’s structure jumps 125 percent, according to the IIHS.
- Encourage motorists to drive even faster, according to the IIHS. Instead of obeying higher limits, the agency says, drivers exceed them.
High-Speed Crash? Act Quickly to Secure Expert Legal Advice
If you’ve been the victim of a high-speed car accident, you are likely dealing with major physical, mental, emotional and financial issues. You may be injured, out of work due to a long recovery period, and unable to provide for your family.
As the bills pile up, an insurance company may try to take advantage of your desperation by offering a financial settlement that comes nowhere near what you need or deserve. Then there are the legal complications – the police and the courts, and the attorneys working against you.
That’s why you need a dedicated personal injury lawyer on your side. Andras Szantho of Szantho Law Firm, P.C. is a former New Mexico prosecutor with offices in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. He understands the law. He knows the courts. He can counter the tactics of insurance companies. Most importantly, he will treat you with compassion and respect. Put the people responsible for your dilemma on notice.
Contact Andras Szantho today for a free case consultation.