Anyone who has ever hit the highway only to get stuck behind a line of cars going at or under the posted limit knows the urge we have all had to replace speed limit signs with ones that read, “Go as fast as you can.” Of course, that is somewhat selfish and unreasonable thinking, as higher speeds can, logically, lead to deadlier crashes.
However, despite that logic, speed limit increases have been a reality across the nation. This was in response to lax concerns regarding fuel availability in the late 1980s, which allowed states to raise limits from 55 mph to 65 mph on certain roadways. Today, you may find speed limits reaching 80, even 85, mph. The argument for these increases is that they more accurately match the average speed at which drivers already (illegally) travel on such roads. A counter to this argument: higher speed limits encourage drivers to drive even faster that they normally would.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, speed limit increases of 5 mph increased fatalities by 4 percent. That makes for an estimated 33,000 lives lost in correlation to increased speed limits. Even with that soberingly large a number, note that this only accounts for rural interstates — not urban.
We have discussed the dangers of driving distracted or intoxicated, but realize that even safe driving becomes potentially deadly the faster you go. With these facts in mind, maybe you will be a bit more patient with those that choose to follow the speed limit more religiously than others. Always drive with safety as your first priority — it is better to be late than not make it at all.
If you or a loved one are involved in a car accident due to the negligence of others, please do not hesitate to seek the legal guidance of our personal injury experts today.