IIHS Says Raising Speed Limits Will Increase Traffic Deaths

States have been raising the maximum speed limit since the national 55 mph limit — which was set be the federal government in 1973 — was repealed in 1995. According to recent data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), none of the 50 states has a maximum speed limit at 55 miles per hour (mph). Hawaii has the lowest at 60 mph and Texas has the highest at 85 mph. Twenty states have theirs set at 70 mph and, in New Jersey, the maximum speed limit is 65 mph. The IIHS says that increasing the speed limits — allowing more people to drive faster — will mean more fatalities on the road.

According to the IIHS:

  • More than 9,000 deaths in 2015 were the result of speeding; that accounted for 27% of all crash-related deaths
  • Had the speed limits not increased between 1993 and 2013, there would have been 33,000 fewer deaths
  • An increase in speed from 75 to 78 mph increases the rate of fatal crashes by 17%
  • Speeding continues to be “a persistent problem” on U.S. roads. The group cited data from the National Transportation Safety Board showing that, from 2005 to 2014, more than 112,500 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving speeding
  • For every five miles per hour the speed limit is increased, there is an 8% greater risk in auto-related fatalities

Despite the warnings, the state of Nebraska is currently mulling a bill that would increase the state’s maximum speed limit up to 80 mph, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. If the bill is passed, it would join Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah and Nevada in maintaining an 80 mph speed limit.

If you have been in a car accident, seek medical attention immediately and then call an attorney to make sure you know your rights and get the legal advice you need. Richard P. Rinaldo, Esq. is here to help you through the aftermath of an auto accident. He and his firm have years of experience in representing victims in many cases. Call Richard P. Rinaldo, Esq. 24 hours a day at (908) 352-2500.

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