How Speed Limits Affect Road Safety

Connecticut was the first state in the United States to pass a speed limit law in 1901. It limited the legal speed of motor vehicles to 12 MPH in cities and 15 MPH on country roads. However, there were laws regarding road speed before cars were even invented. When New York was the colony of New Amsterdam, officials issued a law in 1652 stating wagons, carts, and sleighs couldn’t be run, rode, or driven at a gallop.

Rising fuel prices later contributed to a nationwide speed limit designed to save money in the early 1970s. President Richard Nixon set the national speed limit at 55 MPH for all states. After this law was passed, the traffic fatality rate dropped from 4.28 per million miles traveled to 2.73 per million in just over a decade. However, the availability of fuel increased, and the national speed limit was changed to 65 MPH on interstates.

It’s no secret speed is a key risk factor in road traffic injuries, influencing both the risk of the crash as well as the severity of the injuries resulting from the incident. According to a study done in 1991, pedestrian fatality risk increased as speed increased. For example, a car going 20 MPH was less likely to kill a pedestrian than a car going 40 MPH.

Speed limits were designed to control the speed a vehicle is legally able to go. These restrictions prevent crashes from happening when people follow the signs. The faster a vehicle goes, the shorter the time a driver has the opportunity to stop the car.

If you or a loved one were injured by a negligent driver flouting the speed limit, don’t hesitate to call us. Denver Trial Lawyers ® can offer you the award-winning representation of skilled Denver car accident attorneys. We have more than 175 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. If your injury led to extensive medical bills and lost wages, you deserve to be compensated. Our firm has obtained more than $300 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Let us see what we can do for you and your case.

Contact us at (303) 647-9990 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation with us today. We look forward to speaking with you.