According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the maximum speed limit on a freeway in 1974 was 55 mph. Not only was this deemed appropriate for safety purposes, but also for fuel conservation. Right or wrong, there were fewer highway deaths per capita during these years.
In November of 1995, that law was repealed and almost immediately, every state increased their highway speed limits. Today, some of these highways have speed zone as high as 75 mph. According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, these roadways have 38 percent more deaths per million vehicle miles that states that didn’t change their posted speed limits. This has been tracked since the law was repealed in 1995. Is this the reason behind the highway death increase?
What other factors could give such an increase on deaths on a highway? How about vehicle horsepower? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports horsepower in new cars increased 64 percent between 1985 and 2005. Combining the horsepower that allows the public to reach higher speeds quicker, and laws that allow driver to use their increased horsepower, equal the two main reasons for increased fatalities on the highways.
According to the National Safety
Council’s Injury Facts, automobile crashes are a leading cause of death for all
age groups, but they are the number one killer for Americans age 1 to 34. These
numbers are alarming when you take into effect that in the entire
Do I advocate the speed limits being lowered? No
Do I advocate a backward trend in automotive engineering? No
Do I think that people need to think more about what they are doing, and how they are doing it? Absolutely, YES.
Remember, cars don’t hurt or kill people, people driving cars negligently hurt or kill people.
Know your limitations. If you cannot handle your car, then find another. If you cannot safely drive at faster speeds, don’t. If you cannot eat, drink, talk on your phone, put on make-up or watch your iPhone while you are driving, DON’T!!!!!!!