From TV commercials to movies to print ads, the message is pretty clear — faster is better. But is it safer? When you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, faster can be dangerous.
Speeding drivers cause thousands of deaths and injuries every year in Georgia. Even the safest, most cautious drivers are not immune to the risk of a driver going well-above the posted speed. Unfortunately, speed limits only seem to be on the rise with no indication of ever going back.
Is speeding really that bad?
Between 2005 and 2014, speeding contributed to over 112,500 accident-related deaths. This accounts for a third of all traffic deaths, and is about equal to the number of deaths from alcohol-related accidents over the same period of time. Even though alcohol and speeding cause approximately the same number of deaths, most drivers still fail to take the latter seriously.
Drivers usually acknowledge that speeding is a safety risk, but it lacks the same stigma that drinking while driving has. The National Transportation Safety Board points out that this may be due to a lack of nationwide campaigns about the risks of speeding, which have been effective for raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving.
Why not raise the limit so everyone goes the same speed?
Raising the speed limit is not a new argument, and proponents of this move argue that change will simply reflect the speed at which people are already traveling. It might be a nice idea, but it hardly reflects reality. When speed limits go up, drivers who exceeded the past limit simply drive even faster, leaving the new limit in the dust.
The faster cars travel, the more likely a crash is to occur and the more severe the related injuries will be. Raising the limit not only allows for faster travel, but also leads to a percentage of drivers traveling well above it.
Speed-related injuries are severe
Car accidents caused by reckless speeding are more likely to result in severe injuries that require intense and ongoing medical treatment. The physical, emotional and financial toll of such injuries can be overwhelming for most victims, especially when they must take time away from work to recover.
In Georgia, personal injury suits can be effective at achieving necessary compensation from negligent drivers. Although nothing can ever undo the long-lasting effects of a severe injury, just legal recourse can ease financial worries and bridge the costs of necessary medical care.