Do Higher Speed Limits Lead to More Fatalities on the Road

It’s not uncommon for a person to speed. Throughout California, and the country as a whole, drivers may speed because they believe it’s normal to go 5 – 10 miles over the speed limit. Others may speed without noticing it because they’re caught up in the music they’re listening to or something else that’s going on. What many people don’t realize is that the faster you drive, the more likely it is that you’ll be in a fatal car accident.

Take a lesson from the ’70 and ‘80s

In the 1970s, people across the country were dealing with a significant fuel shortage. As a result, Congress stepped in and lowered the speed limit to 55 miles per hour on every highway in the nation. What they saw was not just what they’d intended, which was that fuel use dropped, but another unintended consequence: Fatalities on U.S. highways dropped too.

States now set their own speed limits

Congress eventually removed their 55 miles per hour speed limit and let states set their own speed limits. Since that time, fatalities on the roads have gone up. Consider that between 1993 and 2013, more than 33,000 people lost their lives in 41 states just as the result of speed limit increases. At least, that’s what the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found.

Consider that during the same years, accidents in general were lowering. Looking at 2013 alone, the IIHS found that nearly 2,000 people lost their lives unnecessarily because the speed limits were so high in some places.

You may be shocked by the speed limit in some areas

Did you know that there are six states that have speed limits of up to 80 miles on freeways? Texas even has some areas where they allow speeds of 85 miles per hour. Of course, not matter what the speed limit is, many people are going to go over it. So why does it really matter what the speed limit is?

That’s what the IIHS wanted to find out. Their study showed that states with higher speed limits had higher fatalities in car accidents compared to states with lower speed limits. Of course, there may be more factors in play that are causing these elevated deaths. Either way, the IIHS wants lawmakers to get more information and gather more statistics before raising speed limits.

Have you lost a loved one on a California highway?

If your loved one lost their life on a California highway then you may have a wrongful death case. This would allow you to get compensation for the costs of their funeral and burial, medical expenses before their death, loss of compensation, pain and suffering, and other issues.

At Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, we’d like to help you through this difficult time. The first step is to call us at 909-982-0707 and ask for a free legal consultation. We’ll go through the facts of your case and give you our honest opinion on whether or not you have grounds for a case.