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The Road Safety Threat Regulators, Auto Companies Ignore

There is a silent killer on our streets, and unfortunately, it receives very little attention. Speeding–related accident deaths in the United States are on the increase and fast rising. This is in sharp contrast to other countries in the European Union, for instance, where speeding-related traffic fatality rates have actually been falling.

There has been plenty of discussion about the increase in traffic accident fatalities in this country in 2020, in spite of the fact that there were fewer vehicle miles travelled that year. There is a long history in this nation of attempts to curb speeding, but it took the pandemic to bring speeding to the forefront of the national traffic safety discourse. Most developed countries, including those in the European Union, have actually seen their traffic accident fatality rates drop significantly in recent years, and they have their regulations against speeding to thank for it.  In the United States, the exact opposite has happened, and we can look to the changes in how regulators in the United States view speeding to understand the reasons for this.

The European Union and the United Kingdom have mandated that by the year 2022, all new automobiles sold in these countries must come with speed limiters. The mandate also requires that cars come with intelligent speed assistance technology which restricts the speed of a car based on existing GPS data and external speed limit signs, by 2024. Drivers can override the technology if they choose to. However, the mandate requires that the data be stored in black box data recorders that can then be investigated in the event of an accident. Regulators in these countries believe that these rules will lead to a reduction in traffic accident fatalities by as much as 20%.

The United States, in contrast, still does not require any kind of speed limiting technology on automobiles sold in the country. Volvo is the only automaker in the United States that sells cars with speed limiting technology.  On these Volvo automobiles, the technology prevents motorists from driving beyond 112 mph. Auto companies in this country, therefore, have found it profitable to manufacture and sell cars that allow motorists to drive at dangerous speeds. Advocates blame car companies for fueling toxic masculinity by selling cars that can go as much as 200% beyond existing speed limits on our roads in spite of the clear data that shows that such high speeds are likely to end in accidents that kill or seriously injure passengers and motorists.

The Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards mandate can change this situation, but the rule can only be modified by Congress or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, making it difficult for lower speed mandates to become a reality anytime soon.

High-speed accidents usually result in high-impact accidents that can result in catastrophic injuries and deaths. The kind of impact that is generated when a car is travelling at 140 mph is immense and can cause serious injuries.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident caused by speeding, talk to an Atlanta car accident attorney at the Katz Personal Injury Lawyers and determine whether you have legal rights to a claim for compensation.

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