Faster is always better. Right? That is what most motor vehicle commercials would like you to believe. That is also extremely far from the truth. Speed-related car accidents are an increasing problem, putting you and everyone else in Connecticut at risk for serious injury or even death. The question is who is to blame for the rising rates of speeding drivers and deadly car wrecks.
You might be wondering if car companies and manufacturers are behind the increase in these speed-related collisions. While the "need for speed" attitude that these companies display might seem like enough of an explanation, it is not the only reason. It seems as though lawmakers across the country are the driving force behind this deadly trend.
Higher speed limits are a real problem
How fast can you get from Point A to Point B? While you might not care whether you could shave off a few minutes by driving faster than the posted speed limit, there are other drivers on the road who do care. It might not ever matter what the posted speed limit is because there is always someone driving faster than that. Others might use this line of thought to rationalize raising the limit, which would bring everyone on the road in line with the fastest drivers.
Unfortunately, this is not how this works. Lawmakers across the country have been regularly raising the speed limit since the 1990s in an effort to get everyone in line with the posted speed limit. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, raising speed limits only encourages drivers to travel even faster than before. These drivers exceed the speed limit no matter how high it is.
Speeding is killing people
The vice president of research and statistical analysis at IIHS recently analyzed how changing speed limits between 1993 and 2017 affected road safety. His results were both alarming and upsetting. When lawmakers raise speed limits by only 5 mph, it causes an 8% increase in interstate and freeway fatalities. The same speed limit increase is associated with a 3% increase in fatalities on all other roads.
He also concluded that rising speed limits directly caused an additional 36,760 deaths during those years. Of those fatalities, 13,638 occurred on freeways and interstates. The vast majority of these unnecessary deaths happened on all other types of roads where speed limits are generally lower.
Faster is not better
The difference between 65 mph and 70 mph might feel monumental when you are behind the wheel of a car. Is it really that much faster? To put it in context, if you set out on a 100-mile road trip, you would only shave about 6.5 minutes off your travel time. That is not a lot of time to save when it also increases your risk of being involved in a fatal accident.
You already know that wearing a seat belt, minimizing distractions and following the posted speed limit is important for your safety. Unfortunately, there are a lot of drivers who do not take the responsibility of driving quite as seriously, and these drivers are more likely to cause speed-related car accidents. If one of those negligent drivers caused your loved one's fatal accident, you do not have to struggle alone. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance when it comes to pursuing a wrongful death claim.