A new study carried out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has discovered some disturbing information. It shows that speed limit increases on our roads and highways over the last two decades has cost an additional 33,000 lives in the U.S. In fact, in 2013 alone this accounted for an additional 1,900 deaths. Sadly, this negated the number of lives saved in that year by front airbags. If they have been affected by a similar situation and need auto accident lawyers in Savannah, residents should contact us.
A Little American Speed Limit History
We all like to get where we need to be as quickly as possible, but all the science proves that higher speeds are more dangerous. Speed limits are set by the states, and they have been steadily increasing since 1995. Financial penalties throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s kept the speed limit increases peaked at 55mph. This was introduced in 1973 by Congress as a condition of the states to receive funding to build new highways. The national speed limit was more concerned with fuel conservation relating to the 1973 oil crisis when OPEC raised the posted price of oil by 70% per barrel. A net gain that had not been expected was an immediate drop in the number of deaths on American roads.
The Speed Limit Increases
In 1987 the oil crisis had been averted, and Congress took the decision to relax the national speed limit. Initially, the speed limit increases took the maximum legal speed up to 65mph. However, by 1995 this law had been completely repealed, and the speed limits have continued to climb. Today, there are six states, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming, that have a rural speed limit of 80mph and on certain roads in Texas, there is a speed limit of 85 mph. There are definite signs that many other states will follow, only Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont still have rural highway speed limits of 65 mph.
If you feel that you have been affected by speed limit increases, and you need legal advice, get in touch with us today. We have a wealth of experience in auto accidents, and we can offer you the very best advice.