Higher Speed Limits Cause More Crashes
A recently conducted study has found that there is a connection between increased roadway fatalities and higher speed limits. The Insurance Insitute for Highway Safety estimates that nearly 37,000 Americans lost their lives due to increased speed limits in the past 25 years.
The vice president for research and statistical services at IIHS, Charles Farmer, examined all states that changed its maximum speed limit during the period of 1993 to 2017. Farmer discovered that a 5 mile per hour increase in the maximum speed limit correlated with an 8 percent increase in roadway deaths.
These numbers raise concerns because:
41 states have a maximum speed limit of 70 mph or greater (New Mexico’s maximum is 75 mph).
6 states have a maximum speed limit of 80-mph.
On some roads, drivers in Texas are allowed to travel at 85 mph. Texas is among states with the highest speed limits, along with Montana, Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming. These states all have a higher rate of traffic fatalities.
How Do Higher Speed Limits Cause More Deaths?
It has been found that higher speed limits:
- Increase a vehicle’s stopping distance. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that a vehicle traveling at 55 mph requires 265 ft. to come to a full stop. That distance is increased to 344 ft. at 65 mph and 386 ft. at 70 mph. Keep in mind, these figures are under ideal roadway conditions and when drivers are quick to react. A slippery street or a slight delay can result in a catastrophic crash.
- Increase crash forces and the chances of serious injury. When impact speed increases from 40 to 60 mph, the force applied to a car’s structure increases by nearly 125 percent.
- Encourage drivers to travel even faster (According to the IIHS). Experts claim that drivers will often drive faster than posted speed limits, regardless of the limit. So, raising the speed limit will only make drivers increase their speed.
Act Fast & Protect Your Legal Rights after a High-Speed Crash
If you have been seriously injured in a high-speed collision, you are likely experiencing intense physical, mental, emotional, and financial concerns. You are likely seriously injured, unable to return to work or provide for yourself and your loved ones.
Bills are likely piling up, and the insurance provider will likely try to take advantage of your situation by offering a settlement that is much less than the value of your damages. Then there are the associated legal concerns, such as the police, the courts, and the lawyers of the other party who are attempting to undermine your case. You should hire a knowledgeable New Mexico car accident attorney to protect your rights.
New Mexico High-Speed Crashes
Innocent drivers often suffer the most when they are involved in a crash with an aggressive driver. Everyone feels as if they are in a rush, causing many to want to speed and act recklessly on the road. The resulting injuries can be devastating to victims and make the recovery process difficult.
You need an experienced law firm on your side when dealing with the aftermath of a serious crash. The team of New Mexico car crash lawyers at Will Ferguson & Associates can fight for your legal rights and help you recover a fair settlement. Contact our law offices at (505) 243-5566 if you or a loved one has been injured by a reckless motorist.