Forbes By Jim Gorzelany February 10, 2021
The phrase “speed kills” has been used in public safety campaigns since the 1950’s. The notion has long been argued among motorists and legislators alike, and reached a fever pitch with the enactment of the National Maximum Speed Law in 1974 that dropped speed limits to 55 mph in response to oil price spikes and fuel shortages the nation was then suffering. The law was subsequently modified to allow 65 mph stretches, and was repealed altogether in 1995, with states again free to set their own speed limits. Today, 41 states allow legal speeds of 70 mph or more, with the highest in the nation at 85 mph over State Highway 130 in Texas. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), such boosts have been responsible for nearly 37,000 additional highway fatalities over a 25-year period. As it turns out, even modest speed increases can have major effects on the severity of roadway collisions. That’s according to a recent round of crash tests conducted jointly by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the IIHS, and Humanetics.
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