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Skyrocketing maximum speed limits contribute to car accidents

The speed at which an accident occurs can affect how severe the resulting injuries are. As a safe driver, you already understand this and avoid traveling above the posted speed limit. But what about other drivers?

Many people knowingly drive faster than the speed limit, especially when traveling on interstates or highways. These are areas where the speed limit is already relatively high, which means that speeding drivers are putting you and your loved ones at risk for serious injuries.

Do higher speed limits help?

Authorities sometimes decide to increase speed limits when significant numbers of people exceed current limits. Speed variation is a known contributor of accidents, and increasing the maximum to match what some drivers are already doing can sometimes decrease the need for lane changes and unsafe passing maneuvers.

However, increasing maximum speed limits also leads to many people driving even faster than before. When one out-of-state city changed its maximum speed limit to 80 miles per hour, speed variation actually increased as some drivers began to exceed the new limit while others drove closer to the old one.

Lower speeds save lives

Prior to 1993, the highest national maximum speed limit was 65 mph, and many states capped their maximum limits at 55 mph. Since then, maximum limits have increased across the United States, with some allowing speeds as high as 80 mph.

A nationwide study analyzed data over a 20-year period and concluded that the speed increase had deadly results. Researchers attributed approximately 33,000 fatalities to new, higher speeds. Keeping maximum limits lower would have prevented many car accidents and unnecessary deaths.

Higher speed limits affect everyone

Even if you do not live in an area where maximum limits go up, you may still feel the effect in a spillover site. These are areas located near roads with high maximum limits that, despite having lower permitted speeds, still have a high number of people driving at extremely high speeds.

As lawmakers continue to approve higher and higher limits, average drivers in South Carolina will have to suffer the consequences. Higher speed limits typically lead to more accidents, and those that occur at high rates of speed usually leave victims with severe injuries that require extensive and costly medical care. Victims of such injuries often turn to personal injury suits that, when pursued alongside an experienced lawyer, can usually achieve just and necessary compensation for their damages.

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