According to the National Transportation Safety Board, speeding motorists pose a serious problem on our roads. Between 2005 and 2016, speeding-related accidents killed more than 132,500 people. In Georgia, the annual number of speeding fatalities in 2008 to 2017 averaged from 1200 to over 1500 each year. Until authorities and communities address the very real risk posed by speeding, no real progress can be made in reducing the number of accident fatalities in the United States.
There are two ways in which speeding increases the risk of fatalities. First, a speeding motorist is less likely to be able to respond in time to prevent an accident. Second, the kinds of injuries that occur in a speeding-related accident are very often fatal, due to the high speeds and resulting high impact involved. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board statistics show that the number of speeding-related fatalities accounted for approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities. That number was close to the number of people who died in drunk driving accidents during that same period. However, while a lot of attention and activism is directed towards drunk driving, speeding generally does not get as much focus as an accident factor.
The National Transportation Safety Board identifies community trends to raise speed limits as one of the reasons why speeding continues to claim so many lives every year, pointing out that higher limits only encourage drivers to drive even faster. In 2015, the maximum speed limit on Georgia highways was raised from 65 mph to 70 mph. Georgia is also one of the few states that has anti-speed trap laws.
The National Transportation Safety Board specifically outlines steps that can be taken to reduce speeding-related accidents, including the use of automated systems in a much more effective and efficient manner, as well as auto technology that can help control motorists speed. The agency also encourages states to make better and more efficient use of speed cameras and local communities. Currently, 14 states use these systems, but these efforts are typically accompanied by restrictions on the locations of speed cameras. Georgia has yet to implement speed cameras on the roadways. The Board also encourages the adoption of in-car auto safety systems that use sophisticated technology to determine speed limits and warn the motorist. In some cases, the system automatically lowers speeds.
The recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board must be taken up seriously by Georgia authorities and local communities in order to reduce the risks and fatalities caused by speeding motorists.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.