People who have been driving for a while might remember a time when the speed limit on most highways was 55 miles per hour. Over the years, maximum speed limits have climbed steadily upward. According to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), rising speed limits come at a steep price in the form of thousands of lives.
Study Indicates a Sharp Jump in Traffic Fatalities
According to the IIHS study, the past two decades have seen speed limits across the country go from 55 miles per hour to 65 miles per hour in many states. Currently, Georgia state law sets the maximum speed limit at 70 miles per hour on designated roads. In some states, such as Texas, motorists can go as fast as 85 miles per hour on certain roads.
Throughout the 1970s and most of the 1980s, highway speeds were set at 55 miles per hour across the nation by the National Speed Limit, which was put in place by Congress in 1973. In 1987, federal lawmakers raised the national speed limit to 65 miles per hour. In 1995, Congress repealed the national speed limit entirely, leaving it up to the states to set their own speed limits.
The higher speed limits might make many drivers happy, but they are not without significant cost, both in terms of serious accidents and traffic deaths. In 2013 alone, higher speed limits caused 1,900 deaths, according to the IIHS study. This has the effect of canceling out all the lives saved by front air bags that year.
Motorist Keep Driving Faster
Over two decades, the increase in speed limits has cost an astounding 33,000 lives. Supporters of higher speed limits say raising speeds is just accepted reality, considering most drivers exceed the posted speed limit anyway. Safety experts point out that this isn’t exactly correct, since motorists will simply go faster than the increased speed, leading some drivers to go 85 and 90 miles per hour.
Georgia Car Accident Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, you need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Don’t wait to speak to an attorney about your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. Contact my office today at (912) 265-9811 to discuss your case.