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Higher speed limits killed 33,000 in 20 years

Speed limit increases in Maryland and across the U.S. are costing lives, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In fact, the organization estimates that around 33,000 people died between 1993 and 2013 as a result of higher speed limits.

From 1973 until 1987, Congress mandated that all states post 55 mph speed limits in order to receive federal road funds. However, the government eased that rule in 1987 and eliminated it in 1995, leaving it up to states to set their own speed limits. Since then, many states have raised highway speed limits to 70 mph, and six states have upped them to 80 mph. Meanwhile, Texas has raised its limits all the way up to 85 mph in some areas.

IIHS studied the death rates in 41 states from 1993 to 2013 to see if increased speed limits impacted traffic fatalities. It estimated that higher speed limits led to the deaths of around 33,000 people over that period of time. It also estimated that increased speed limits killed nearly 2,000 people in 2013, which is about the same amount of people that air bags saved that year.

As this study demonstrates, speed and reckless driving kill and injure thousands of people across the U.S. each year. Victims of car collisions that have been caused by such negligent behavior might want to have legal assistance when seeking appropriate compensation from the at-fault motorist's insurance company. If the amount offered is insufficient, the victim's attorney might find it advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.

Source: IIHS, "Speed limit increases cause 33,000 deaths in 20 years", April 16, 2016

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