Skip to comments.Study: Higher speed limits create dangers
Posted on 11/24/2003 1:11:14 PM PST by SLB
WASHINGTON (AP) States that raised their speed limits to 70 mph or more saw a dramatic increase in the number of people killed in traffic accidents, according to a report released Monday by an auto safety group funded by insurers.
The study, compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and based on data collected by the Land Transport Safety Authority of New Zealand, determined 1,880 more people died between 1996 and 1999 in the 22 states with higher speed limits.
A separate review of six states by the institute found drivers traveling the fastest they have since long before Congress repealed the 55 mph national speed limit in November 1995. In Colorado, which has a speed limit of 75 mph, researchers observed one in four drivers going above 80 mph. In California, where the speed limit is 70 mph, one in five drivers was clocked at 80 mph.
The New Zealand government agency estimated the death rate for the 22 states that raised their speed limits on rural interstates in 1995 and 1996.
The 10 states that raised limits to 75 mph all in the Midwest and West experienced 38% more deaths per million miles driven than states with 65-mph limits, or approximately 780 more deaths.
The 12 states that raised their limits to 70 mph including California, Florida, North Carolina and Missouri saw a 35% increase, or 1,100 additional deaths.
Geographical differences in states may have contributed to the numbers. For example, the report said, drivers may go faster in Western states where cities are farther apart. The report didn't examine the effects of other trends, such as the increasing number of sport utility vehicles on the road then.
The Insurance Institute said there is no doubt, however, that when speed limits increase so do deaths. When the national speed limit of 55 mph was adopted 1974, fatality rates dropped, the Insurance Institute's chief scientist Allan Williams said.
The Insurance Institute's separate study of speeds in Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, Colorado and California also found that when rates are raised on rural interstates, speeding increased on urban interstates.
Average travel speeds on urban interstates in Atlanta, Boston and Washington were the same as or higher than on rural interstates near those cities, even though the speed limits on those urban interstates were 55 mph. In Atlanta, 78% of drivers on one urban interstate exceeded 70 mph, the report found.
Four years... times 22 states... 1880 divided by 88... that's 22.3636 more per state per year... less than two more deaths per month per state... less than one ACCIDENTAL death every two weeks. THIS is the minutiae that they are arguing about? They'll curtail freedom further for 0.43 ACCIDENTAL deaths per week for an entire state?!?
So when do they start blotting out the sun for all of those unintended skin cancer deaths?
LOL Kiwi - nature's furry grape!
Only 28 additional deaths per state per year...
It's that one underlined word that bothers me.
Yeah, kinetic energy. That's the ticket.
If you have too much at the wrong time and place, your innards get all sticky.
Huh? I had to speed up to 85 just to blend into the slow lane today after cruising along on cruise control in the middle lane at 75.
Most of the one's that make the newspaper are the hot-doggers totally losing it.
1880 more than what? The other 28? What are the states? Apples/Oranges at best.
Think how safe we would be if the speed limit was 0.
Don't give a certain Republican Senator any ideas!!
But she remained devoted to federally imposed safety regulations. She opposed Reagan's raising of the 55-mile-per-hour national speed limit, pushed for a mandatory third rear brake light (which had no lasting effect on auto safety), and bribed states to raise their drinking age to 21. Legal developments arguably left her no choice but to mandate airbags for cars -- but she did so enthusiastically. It was as if her personal obsession with control and caution spilled over into her policymaking. ``In all my efforts to promote safer transportation, I tried to respect individual choice,'' she wrote in Unlimited Partners. But airbags had to be designed just so; speed limits could not be raised; people wouldn't buckle up on their own. (Mrs. Dole also supported fuel-efficiency standards that had the perverse effect of taking more lives than airbags save.)Um, the National Review is conservative enough for most isn't it? Thought so.
So you ADMIT that you break the law and endanger other people's lives while CONTINUING to push the drug warrior agenda against non-violent drug users.
Not only that, but the bastards are really making it more dangerous for the rest of us by doing so.
Whenever a driver sees Barney sitting alongside a road, most instinctively hit their breaks, since they don't know exactly how fast they are going relative to the limit. This causes lots of problems, not the least of which is causing cars to bunch up together.
It's been a couple of years since I've been to Atlanta, but I remember that if you weren't doing 80 MPH, you'd have so many cars passing (on both the right and the left), and cars tailgating that you would cause a problem for other drivers.
I think in Georgia they can arrest you for going 15 over the limit, so drivers are forced to choose between a potential arrest and driving safely.
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