If you get pulled over for speeding and you mention to someone that you wish there weren’t speed limits or that you think they just exist to create government funding, they’ll probably tell you that it’s a safety issue. If people were allowed to drive as recklessly as they wanted, the roads would be more dangerous. Speed limits keep people safe, as frustrating as they may feel when you get a traffic ticket.
But how much truth is there to this? Do speed limits really prevent car accidents?
Reduced crashes, reduced injuries
The science appears to back speed limits. Studies have found, for instance, that dropping speed limits can reduce the total number of crashes on those roads. The amount of speed reduction should only be about five miles per hour, these studies say, but there will be fewer crashes, fewer injuries and fewer fatalities.
The reduction in injuries and fatalities is also telling. The biggest issue with excessive speed is not that it causes an accident, but that it makes injuries suffered in that accident far worse. It also increases the odds that an accident will be fatal.
In other words, imagine that you’re going to get into a car accident and there’s no way to avoid it. If the driver who hits you is going five miles per hour under the speed limit, you may walk away without serious injuries. If they’re going 10 miles per hour over the limit, the exact same crash may lead to life-altering injuries or may even take your life.
You can see why driving the speed limit is important, but not all drivers do it. If a reckless or careless driver hits you, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation. Working with an attorney is often the most effective way to combat the insurance companies who seek to deny what you are due.