Higher Speed Limits Lead to Increased Accident Rates
‘I feel the need…the need for speed.‘ It’s a frequently recited movie line from a still popular movie that has encouraged many motorists to push the envelope as they cruise down the highways of the country. Since the 1980’s, speed limits across the country have increased to the point where today most states have highway speed limits between 65-75 mph.
“38 states have speed limits of 70 mph or greater. Wisconsin is the latest state to join this list and recently released statistics show that in July, August, and September the number of accidents rose 13% over the same period last year,” remarked Lake County car accident lawyer Bogdan Martinovich.
According to the Wisconsin Bureau of Transportation Safety, this increase included 5 more fatalities than the same period in 2014. Even more concerning is that Wisconsin isn’t alone in experiencing dramatic increases in accident and fatality rates following an increase of the posted speed limit.
“Excessive speed is a factor in 1/3 of all vehicular accidents. It’s simple physics; the faster a vehicle is going, the shorter the reaction time a driver has available. Factor in road and weather conditions, the time of day, driver distraction, and that ‘need for speed’ is sending more and more people to the hospital and morgue,” opined Martinovich.
Since 2005, 14 states including Illinois have increased their highway speed limits to between 70-75 mph. Earlier this year, Illinois extended this increase to include the expressways and tollways surrounding Chicago.
“It’s a disastrous recipe,” remarked Martinovich. “Illinois’ accident rates have been increasing, and the Illinois Department of Transportation’s statistics for this year show we’re on track to have upwards of 925 fatalities. It’s clear that the higher the speed goes, the more people will be injured or killed as they drive to work, drive their children to school, or simply try and get away for a peaceful weekend outside the city.”