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Study: Raising Speed Limits May Lead To More Crashes, Injuries

hand turning dice representing speed limits; Nashville car accident lawyer

Safety implications need to be considered, AAA Foundation says.

There has been a movement in recent years to raise the speed limit on certain roads across the country. Those in favor argue that higher limits can improve traffic flow and decrease travel time. But opponents worry about the risk of increased accidents and fatalities. A new study from the AAA Foundation offers some insights.

In short, the study found that raising speed limits doesn’t save much time, but could lead to more accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

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    Key findings from 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, the president and executive director of the AAA Foundation. “However, it is critical to consider the safety implications when local transportation authorities contemplate making changes with posted speed limits.”

    The study found:

    • On two of the three Interstate Highways examined, raising speed limits was associated with increased crash frequencies and rates.
    • On one of two principal arterials examined, lowering speed limits was associated with decreased crash frequencies and rates.
    • There were only small changes in travel times for both raised and lowered speed limits.

    Lowering posted speed limits also increased the likelihood of speed limit violations, suggesting a need for better public awareness, AAA noted.

    Benefits and risks need to be examined closely

    When considering changes to speed limits, AAA recommends that a range of factors be taken into account, including the type of road, use of surrounding land, and historical crash data for the road.

    “The movement in statehouses to raise speed limits is happening across the country in at least eight states this year,” said Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations for AAA. “But the benefits are overrated, and the risks are understated. Increasing speed limits does not always yield the positive results envisioned by traffic planners.”

    While AAA supports the use of automated speed enforcement such as speed cameras, it notes that such programs need to be implemented carefully to maintain community support, maintain equity, and keep the focus on improved safety.

    An experienced attorney can help you recover compensation

    Speeding is a dangerous driving behavior that is the cause of many car accidents every year throughout the Nashville area. Victims are left with serious injuries such as broken bones, concussions, or back injuries. Medical expenses can add up quickly, leaving families in a very difficult financial situation.

    But if you were hurt in an accident, holding a speeding driver accountable can be challenging. The negligent driver may deny speeding and try to blame you for what happened. Insurance companies will look for ways to justify paying you as little as possible. They offer you a settlement that falls far short of covering your damages.

    That’s why you need an experienced Nashville car accident lawyer on your side. The Law Office of Eric Beasley fights for the rights of the injured in Davidson County and throughout the state. Attorney Beasley is a straight talker who takes on tough cases and puts in the hard work needed to get results.

    Learn more about how we can help and get answers to your questions. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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