Increasing the speed limit results in more car accidents, according to a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety to determine the impact of increasing or decreasing the speed limit on the number of car crashes.
"Our study analyzed before-and-after data on a dozen roadways that raised or lowered posted speed limits and found no one-size-fits-all answer regarding the impact of these changes," said Dr. David Yang, president and executive director of the AAA Foundation. "However, it is critical to consider the safety implications when local transportation authorities contemplate making changes with posted speed limits."
Higher speed limits result in more car accidents
The recent AAA Foundation study examined the impact of changing the speed limit on 12 highways nationwide (six that raised the speed limit and six that lowered it) on the number of motor vehicle accidents. Researchers found:
- Car accidents increased on the two highways that raised the speed limit.
- Accidents decreased on all six highways that lowered the speed limit.
- Travel times on all 12 highways remained nearly the same as before. Increasing speed limits to decrease travel times is often one of the major reasons why officials make such changes.
"The movement in statehouses to raise speed limits is happening across the country," said Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations for AAA. "But the benefits are overrated, and the risks are understated."
Speed-related crashes are on the rise
In recent years, the number of car crashes caused by speeding has gone up nearly every year. Between 2018 and 2021, car accident fatalities due to speeding increased three years in a row, according to the National Safety Council.
As a result, by 2021, speeding resulted in 12,330 deaths nationwide, or 29 percent of all car accident fatalities. And compared to the year before, speeding accidents were 7.9 percent higher than in 2020, according to the AAA Foundation.
Louisiana car accidents caused by speeding
Speed-related accidents have increased nearly every year in the past decade in Louisiana. Between 2012 and 2021, the number of car accident fatalities in Louisiana due to speeding increased by 33.1 percent to a decade high of 281 speeding car accident deaths in 2021, according to accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Does New Orleans have a speeding problem?
Speeding-related fatalities in New Orleans have stayed relatively low over the past few years, but one death is one too many. Between 2017 and 2021, a total of 8 fatalities occurred each year due to speeding drivers in Orleans Parish, according to NHTSA accident data.
What makes speeding so dangerous?
Speeding significantly amplifies the severity of car accidents due to a variety of factors, such as:
- Increased impact force: A car's velocity directly influences the energy it generates upon colliding with another vehicle. Higher speeds result in greater impact forces during a crash, increasing the likelihood of severe and fatal injuries.
- Reduced reaction time: Speeding dramatically diminishes the available time for drivers to respond to changing road conditions or potential hazards, subsequently raising the probability of a collision. In short, the faster you go, the smaller your margin for error.
- Compounded risky behavior: Speeding often goes hand in hand with other reckless driving practices, such as driving under the influence, texting while driving, or disregarding traffic signals.
Why should I hire a New Orleans car accident lawyer?
At the Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC, we understand the devastating impact that speed-related accidents can have on crash victims and their families. Attorney John S. Williams and his dedicated legal are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to those who have been affected by speed-related accidents. With years of experience handling complex personal injury cases, we are well-equipped to advocate for your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a speed-related accident, don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Let us provide you with the legal support and guidance you need during this difficult time. Your well-being is our priority, and we are here to stand by your side every step of the way.