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Status Report, Vol. 54, No. 2 | February 21, 2019 Subscribe

National forum seeks to address neglected problem of speeding

Speeding is a factor in the deaths of approximately 10,000 people each year in the U.S., but the problem isn’t being addressed comprehensively. IIHS and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) will convene a speeding forum April 15-16 with a diverse group of stakeholders to identify strategies to reduce speeding, prevent crashes and save lives.

High speeds make a crash more likely because it takes longer to stop or slow down. They also make collisions more deadly because crash energy increases exponentially as speeds go up. If the U.S. is to attain the goal of zero traffic fatalities, the persistent problem of speeding must be addressed.

Higher speed limits contribute to the problem. People often drive faster than the speed limit, and if the limit is raised they will go faster still. Research shows that when speed limits are raised, speeds go up, as do fatal crashes.

Determined at the state level, maximum speed limits have been on the rise since 1995. The maximum speed limit is 75 mph in 12 states and 80 mph in six states. Texas allows speeds as high as 85 mph. In the 2019 legislative session, at least seven states have introduced bills to raise limits to 75 mph or higher.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s 2019 Most Wanted List includes a call to implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce speeding-related crashes.

The April 15-16 speeding forum will be held at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia. For more information, contact Chamelle Matthew at cmatthew@iihs.org.

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