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Higher Speed Limits Mean Higher Crash Rates, Study Says

Speeding car at night in city

When officials increase speed limits on highways, more car accidents often (but not always) occur, according to a recent study.

"Our study analyzed before-and-after data on a dozen roadways that raised or lowered posted speed limits and found no one-size-fits-all answer regarding the impact of these changes," said Dr. David Yang, president and executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which conducted the study. "However, it is critical to consider the safety implications when local transportation authorities contemplate making changes with posted speed limits."

What were the exact findings of the study? How common are speeding accidents? And how bad are speeding accidents in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio? Our car accident attorneys at Recht Law Offices have the answers to all of these questions below.

Higher speed limits often result in more car accidents

The recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety focused on 12 highways throughout the country – six where officials raised the speed limit and six where they lowered the speed limit. Researchers found:

  • More car accidents occurred on two of the six highways where the speed limit was increased.
  • Fewer car accidents occurred on all six highways where the speed limit was decreased.
  • There was virtually no difference in travel times on all 12 highways. This is significant since reducing travel times is often cited as the reason for raising the speed limit on a highway.

How common are speed-related accidents?

Recently, the number of car accidents caused by speeding drivers has increased nearly every year. In particular, 2021 was one of the deadliest years on our nation's roads due to collisions caused by speeding drivers.

In 2021, speeding drivers caused 12,330 car accident deaths, or roughly 29 percent of all car accident fatalities, according to the National Safety Council. That year was the third year in a row that there were more speeding-related accidents nationwide. The 2021 speeding-related death toll was also 7.9 percent higher compared to the year before.

In 2022, speeding-related fatalities did decrease slightly, but they still accounted for 27 percent of all car accident fatalities, AAA reported. As a result, traffic safety experts warned drivers to slow down and to continue to watch for speeding, aggressive drivers.

How bad are speeding accidents in OH, PA, and WV?

Speeding-related accidents remain problematic in many states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. According to car accident data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of speeding-related accidents in these three states is:

  • Ohio – 341 speeding-related fatalities in 2021, the second highest number in a single year since 2012.
  • Pennsylvania – 500 speeding car accident deaths in 2021, the most in a single year since 2016.
  • West Virginia – 64 speeding car accident fatalities in 2021, a 6.6 percent increase compared to 2020.

Why should I hire a car accident attorney?

If a speeding driver crashes into your car, you might reasonably think that your accident claim will be fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, many car accidents quickly turn into complicated legal cases. Often, this is because the at-fault driver denies doing anything wrong. And worst of all, the at-fault driver's insurance company usually does everything possible to reduce your compensation or pay you nothing at all.

Our car accident lawyers at Recht Law Offices can help you demand justice on your terms. Founded in 1952, our law firm has decades of legal experience fighting for the rights of injury victims and their families. As a result, we know how the legal system works and which strategies can be the most effective.

Get the law firm that gets results. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer you can count on in a crisis. We work on injury claims on a contingency fee basis. That means you only have to pay us if we secure a financial settlement or verdict for you.

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