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Speed Limits are Intended to Keep People Safe

The faster a car travels, the lesser time it will take to reach its destination. But while speed may be advantageous time-wise, it can be a risk where road safety is the issue.

Speeding, as shown in the records of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is the third major reason behind fatal car accidents. Every year, this ill road behavior causes about 13,000 fatal accidents.

Though the number of fatal car crashes has significantly been reduced during the past 10 years (from 42,000 annually to 36,000), the number of motor vehicle accidents continue to remain above five million, causing more than two million injuries. According to the NHTSA, ninety-four percent of car crashes are traceable to driver error. Driver error, which points to bad driving behavior, has become an epidemic on U.S. roads and highways. Its major classifications include drunk-driving, reckless driving, driving aggressively, distracted driving and speeding.

A driver, who goes above a determined speed limit, increases the risk of accident and compromises the safety of many others on the road. This is because speeding, as proven through studies and actual events, reduces a driver’s reaction time to danger, makes stopping or slowing down a vehicle much harder, and lessens a driver’s control over his/her vehicle; it would also be like inviting death if one were to drive at fast speeds while impaired by alcohol and/or illegal drugs.

Those who often drive above the set speed limit reason out that speeding enables them to be on time for appointment or work. Some say, however, that they are not aware of what the speed limit is; they feel that they are still in control of their vehicle even when driving over the speed limit; keeping up with slower drivers causes pressure; they will not be caught anyway or, even if they do get caught, damages, if they happen to cause any, will be paid by their insurance provider.

Aside from increasing the likelihood of a car accident, speeding also significantly affects the consequence of a car crash. This is because other than the possibility of causing major damage to properties, driving at fast speeds can also result to more severe injuries or death.

As much as some drivers may disagree with the particular limit imposed along a given stretch of road, Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg explain that speed limits are intended to keep people safe. When people choose to drive faster than the speed limit allows, for whatever reason they may claim to have, they demonstrate an obvious and willful disregard for the safety of others that is likely to make them liable for any accidents they cause.