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Speed catches drunk driving

Unfortunately, the roadways are home to much tragedy and upset. The fast pace in life tends to keep everyone in a rush, causing some drivers to travel much faster than they should. Speed is only second behind drunk driving as being the cause of a fatal accident in this country. The National Transportation Safety Board reached this conclusion in a study released in July covering car accidents from 2005 to 2014.

According to this recent study, the NTSB found that excessive speed was related to 112,580 passenger deaths. Drunk driving, by comparison, was involved with 112,948 traffic deaths over the same period. This is a mere 0.32 percent difference. The connection between speeding and auto accidents was complex, according to the NTSB. However, it said that excessive speeds raise the odds of an accident occurring and compound the severity of injuries suffered in a car crash.

The agency recommended that states repeal laws prohibiting or restricting technological speed enforcement such as speed cameras. Currently, 21 states forbid or limit this enforcement while 20 other states do not have any laws on its use. The NTSB also criticized setting speed restrictions to match the 85th percent of motorist speeds. This is where speeds are set at a level where 85 percent of motorists drive at or below. It claims that raising limits to this level merely encourages motorists to drive at higher speeds. There is insufficient evidence, according to the report, that speed set at this 85th percentile in certain situations equals the speed rates associated with lower numbers of car accidents.

The dangers of speeding are also magnified because there is less public outrage or stigma for violating speed limits. Drunk driving, by comparison, is unpopular and carries a bad connotation. Victims of a car accident caused by a negligent, reckless or impaired driver may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and medical expenses among other costs. An attorney can help these victims and their families seek just and reasonable compensation and protect their interests in settlement negotiations and litigation.

Source: The Drive, "Speeding kills as many Americans as drunk driving, Feds say," By Will Sabel Courtney, July 27, 2017

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