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Study finds speeding is behind rise in traffic deaths

Speed is behind a spike in traffic deaths in Florida and across the U.S., according to a study by the National Transportation Safety Board. Previous theories had pointed the finger at everything from Americans driving more miles to smartphones to the improving economy.

Researchers examined crash data from 2005 through 2014 to determine the top contributing factors in fatal car accidents. They found that speed was the primary cause of 112,580 deaths over the study period, nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities. Meanwhile, drunk drivers killed 112,948 people over the same period of time.

As a result, the NTSB recommends that states make speeding penalties as harsh for drivers as drunk driving penalties. The agency argues that, like impaired driving, speeding increases the likelihood of being in a car accident. It also increases the risk of causing a serious injury or death if a crash occurs, and the higher the speed, the higher the risk is of a fatality. The agency further recommends that states lower some speed limits and use speed cameras and other enforcement tools to discourage people from driving too fast.

People injured in motor vehicle accidents that have been caused by a driver who was traveling over the posted limit often have to undergo lengthy and expensive medical care and treatment, during which they are unable to return to work. They might want to have an attorney handle settlement negotiations with the at-fault motorist's insurance company. If the offer is insufficient, filing a lawsuit might be in order.

Source: Curbed, "U.S. traffic death increase caused by speeding, says new study", Allssa Walker, July 28, 2017

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