Speeding deaths more common on local roads than highways

A recent NTSB study has found that speeding-deaths are more common on local roads than highways.

Because the highest speed limits are often found on highways, many people might assume that traffic fatalities caused by speeding are more common on highways than on other roads. However, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, a recent study by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) shows that the opposite is true: speeding fatalities are much higher on local roads than on highways. The study, which looked into other aspects of motor vehicle accidents caused by high speeds, may be especially significant in Pennsylvania where legislators are already looking for new ways to cut down on speeding accidents.

Facts about speeding

The NTSB study looked at crash data from 2005 to 2014 and concluded that there were more than 112,000 deaths from speed-related traffic accidents across the United States during that time. That makes speeding responsible for 31 percent of all traffic fatalities, which is the same rate as drunk driving fatalities.

Furthermore, the study found that speeding fatalities are three times higher on local roads than on highways. Speeding on local roads, of course, is also dangerous not just for the vehicle's occupants, but for other vulnerable roads users like pedestrians and cyclists. The study found that 40 percent of speed-related injuries involved either pedestrians or cyclists.

Debate about speed cameras

The problem, according to safety experts, is that many people do not treat speeding as seriously as they do drunk driving, despite the fact that both are responsible for about the same number of fatalities. A separate study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for example, found that 87 percent of drivers agreed that driving 20 mph over the speed limit is unacceptable, yet 27 percent of drivers also said they speed regularly without thinking about it.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, the NTSB study may provide fuel for recent legislative efforts to allow speed cameras on local roads. Speed cameras have become controversial in recent years, with some states, such as Texas, banning them, while other states, including Illinois and Maryland, have permitted them. There are 27 states, including Pennsylvania, that have yet to pass any laws on them. The NTSB also looked at speed camera use around the world and concluded that they led to a 49 percent decrease in all accidents and a 44 percent decrease in serious injuries and fatalities.

Personal injury law

For anybody who has been hurt in an accident, especially one involving a speeding driver, the effects can be devastating. Accident victims may have to endure months of treatment and rehabilitation while also dealing with lost income from time taken off of work and the cost of repairing or replacing their vehicles. A personal injury attorney can help victims in a number of ways, including by showing them what sort of claims that may be available and assisting them with pursuing potential compensation.