Speed kills. That is one of the first things everyone is taught when they get behind the wheel for the first time to learn how to drive. Everyone knows that driving at a safe speed is important. The government even sets speed limits to ensure that we keep to a safe speed.
However, speed limits vary from one state to another. State governments have the right to decide the speed limits on highways within their jurisdiction. They can therefore increase or reduce the speed limits on highways within their jurisdiction without interference from the federal government.
Increasing speed limits
States have the right to increase the speed limits on their highways. There are many states that have done so within the past few years including Texas and Michigan. The big question is whether this is a good move or not.
Many states are increasing their speed limits to accommodate businesses and transportation authorities that are pushing for the same. These parties are seeking for increased speed limits to save time on transportation of their products as well as for their workers who are in transit. State authorities interested in boosting their revenue have lobbied successfully for increased speed limits.
Data from a study by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS) shows that more than a third of car crashes that occur in the US are the result of speeding. Driving too fast is dangerous. Drivers aren’t able to control their vehicles properly when they encounter dangerous situations. The momentum of a vehicle at high speed makes it difficult to control the vehicle. It also increases the impact of the collision, resulting in more serious injuries and sometimes death.
The risks of raising speed limits
Speeding is defined as driving above the speed limit. Over the past few years, many states have raised their speed limits in an effort to boost revenue. However, according to the Insurance Institute for Highways Safety (IIHS), increasing speed limits by as little as 5 mph has resulted in an 8% increase in car accident fatalities.
The 2016 IIHS study ‘Relationship of Traffic Fatality Rates to Maximum State Speed Limits,’ took into account accident and speed limit statistics collected between 1995 and 2013. The results of the study show that increasing speed limits have resulted in over 33,000 fatalities that could have otherwise been prevented with lower speed limits.
Are increased speed limits worth the greater risk of car collisions?