Speed limits are posted on every street and highway so that motorists know exactly how fast they can safely travel, but some drivers exceed these speed limits. When motorists speed, they are creating a dangerous situation for themselves, other drivers, and pedestrians. In fact, speed continues to be a big factor in motor vehicle collisions, particularly in fatal crashes.
According to a new study from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), authorities may have been underestimating how much speed is a factor in deadly crashes. Although there are other factors that contribute to crashes, from the design of the road to alcohol use and the age of the driver, this study finds that speed has a big impact when crashes do occur. This is because speeding not only increases the likelihood of having a collision but it increases the chance for serious and even fatal injuries to occur.
The NTSB study highlights the relationship between speed and crashing as well as the dangers of speeding. Unfortunately, speeding is a threat to all motorists including drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. This study links 112,580 deadly highway crashes between 2005 and 2014 to speeding (31% of all fatal collisions), which is nearly as many as drunk driving traffic fatalities (112,948 over the same time period).
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash statistics fact sheet, traffic deaths have increased over the last few years. Because speeding is a threat to safety and a big factor in deadly collisions, the NTSB feels it is critical to look at ways speeding can be reduced. Some of the recommendations from the NTSB include:
- Increase the use of speed cameras. While some states use them, several states have banned them altogether. The NTSB claims the use of speed cameras reduces crashes and recommends that all states use them.
- Setting the right speed limits. Many states are raising their top speed limits. Some have even increased their top speed limits to 80 miles per hour or more. The NTSB is urging states to reduce high speed limits or set appropriate speed limits by first looking at the conditions of the road, the developments along the road, the average speed of motorists, and whether or not there is a large pedestrian presence.
The NTSB made several more recommendations to 50 states and to federal agencies in an effort to help reduce speed-related crashes.
Because our law firm has seen the devastation that occurs when people speed, we would like to remind drivers to drive the speed limit. Please share this blog on your favorite social media site to help us remind the public about the risks of speeding.