It often seems as if everyone in Texas is in a hurry. Whether parents are frantically trying to get all of their kids to their extracurricular activities or college students are hurrying to their part-time jobs in between classes, getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible ranks high on most people’s priorities. Because of this, most people see rising speed limits as a good thing. In reality, higher speed limits are causing more and more deadly car accidents.
Speed limits have been consistently going up all across the country for the last 25 years. Texas has some of the highest speed limits, and you can legally drive 85 mph on certain roads. These types of high speed limits are getting people killed.
A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that higher speed limits contributed an additional 37,000 deaths in the past quarter century. This is in addition to the 10,000 speed-related deaths that happen every year. These figures highlight how drivers who are happy to shave a few minutes off their travel times are putting everyone on the road at an increased risk of death.
Additional data from IIHS shows that increasing the speed limit by just five mph causes an 8% increase in freeway and interstate deaths. That same increase is associated with a 3% increase in fatalities on all other types of roads. Considering that traveling at 70 mph rather than 65 mph takes less than seven minutes off travel time, increasing the speed limit rarely seems worthwhile.
You can probably easily recall various campaigns targeting safe driving practices. These usually focus on getting drivers to wear their seatbelts or to make sure they have a designated driver if they plan on drinking. Not many, if any, campaigns specifically focus on encouraging drivers to follow the speed limit. Most professionals and lawmakers overlook the dangers associated with speeding.
Lawmakers in particular seem to be incredibly willing to raise speed limits. Proponents of these changes say that most people drive above the posted speed limit anyway, so raising it would simply bring the law in line with people’s actions. This plan usually backfires. When speed limits go up, drivers end up driving even faster than before.
Speeding is not as harmless as many people claim. Speed-related accidents are severe and usually lead to devastating or even fatal injuries. If you lost a loved one because another driver was speeding, you can pursue justice on his or her behalf.
Deadly car accidents are often devastating for both the victims’ families as well as their communities. While nothing could ever replace a victim’s life, you and your family could choose to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. These types of claims can help you address the financial and other damages that you are probably facing, but it is not always easy to demonstrate negligence. Working with an experienced attorney can help in this aspect.