Higher speed limits often seem like a good idea. Some people see it as an opportunity to get to their destination faster, while others simply enjoy the ability to travel at higher rates of speed than they have in the past.
Unfortunately, higher speed limits can also be dangerous. Research shows that the likelihood of an accident increases with speed, making Tennessee roads that boast higher limits especially dangerous.
Doesn't increasing the limit even things out?
Proponents of higher speed limits often claim that authorities should raise speed limits to reflect the reality of the road. At face value this makes sense — raise the limit to what the top speeders drive and get everyone traveling at the same speed. Less difference between vehicle speeds could potentially cut down on accidents.
Data does not back up this sentiment. After raising the speed limit, drivers who exceeded the previous limit simply drive even faster. A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that speed limit increases between 1993 and 2013 contributed to 33,000 deaths.
Speeding is deadly, but lacks stigma
Between 2005 and 2014, over 112,500 people died from speed-related accidents. A National Transportation Safety Board study showed that not only does speeding increase the likelihood of an accident, it also increases the severity of resulting injuries.
Most drivers understand the associated risks of speeding, but continue to engage in this behavior anyway. Unlike drunk driving or texting behind the wheel, there is little to no stigma associated with speeding. Some groups may even perceive speeding as cool or fun.
Even safe drivers are at risk for injury
You may wear your seatbelt, come to a complete stop at stop signs and follow the posted speed limit, but nothing can fully protect you from a speeding driver. In the blink of an eye, your life could permanently change because of someone acting recklessly behind the wheel of his or her vehicle.
Severe injuries typically require extensive medical care, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Victims deserve compensation when another person's negligence caused their serious injuries. Personal injury suits are typically effective at recovering compensation for lost wages, medical bills and long-term pain and suffering.