Personal Injury | Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Charleston, WV and Columbus, OH

Higher Speed Limits Can Cause More Car Accidents, AAA Warns

50 mph speed limit sign on post near a busy road and trees with bushes.

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals a concerning trend: raising the speed limit on many highways and roads leads to an increase in speed-related car accidents, resulting in more injuries and fatalities.

"The 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 Diana Gugliotta, Director of Public Affairs at AAA Northeast. "However, it is critical to consider the safety implications when local transportation authorities contemplate making changes to posted speed limits."

Higher speed limits = more car accidents

In a comprehensive study by the AAA Foundation, researchers analyzed car accident rates for 12 highways across the nation. Half of these highways had raised their speed limits, while the other half had lowered their speed limits. The findings were as follows:

  • On two of the highways with increased speed limits, there was a notable rise in car accidents.
  • On the highways with reduced speed limits, there was a decline in car accidents.
  • The differences in travel times due to the speed limit changes were relatively small.

AAA's Jennifer Ryan emphasized that the movement to raise speed limits in statehouses across the country, happening in at least eight states this year, may not produce the expected benefits and could potentially underestimate the associated risks. The study highlights the need for thorough consideration when making decisions regarding speed limits, as traffic planners' envisioned positive outcomes might not always materialize.

Speed-related accidents on the rise

Speed-related accidents have reached alarming levels in recent years, despite numerous warnings about the dangers of speeding. According to car accident data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as cited by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, car accident fatalities surpassed 42,000 deaths in 2021 and 2022, marking the highest death tolls in over 16 years.

A significant contributing factor to these fatalities is speeding, which accounted for 29 percent of all car accident deaths in 2021 and 27 percent in 2022, as reported by the AAA Foundation based on NHTSA accident data. The concerning rise in speeding-related accidents highlights the urgent need for continued awareness and enforcement measures to curb this dangerous behavior on the roads.

Does Ohio have a speeding problem?

While there was a decrease in speed-related car accident deaths in 2015, 2016, and 2017, the situation in Ohio took a concerning turn from 2018 to 2021. During these years, the number of fatalities in Ohio due to speeding drivers escalated each year, culminating in 341 speeding-related car accident deaths in 2021 - the second-highest number since 2012, as per NHTSA data.

According to the AAA study, it's evident that lower speed limits can lead to a reduction in speed-related accidents. However, implementing lower speed limits successfully and gaining public support for such measures require additional efforts from public officials. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety stressed the importance of developing "better public awareness education tied to these changes" to effectively promote and implement lower speed limits for enhanced road safety.

Car accident claims can be complex

At Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, our car accident lawyers know how to handle complex cases. Our dedicated legal team has been successfully advocating for the rights of injury victims and their families for years, and we understand the challenges you may face when seeking compensation for your losses after a crash.

Our focus is on diligently investigating the details of your case, gathering compelling evidence, and building a strong claim based on the facts. We are relentless in protecting your best interests and will fight tirelessly to secure the maximum compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses.

When you choose our law firm, you can rest assured that we will guide you through the entire legal process, explaining every step along the way. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today for a free consultation. Our Ohio office is in Columbus, and we proudly serve clients throughout Central Ohio.

Category: Posts

Charleston, WV

Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC
10 Hale St Suite 501
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 720-1000

Columbus, OH

Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC
20 E Broad St Suite 1000
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 587-8423