Growing velocity limits can result in extra crashes and deaths, AAA finds

Elevating velocity limits results in extra frequent automotive crashes, whereas reducing them results in fewer crashes, a brand new evaluation by AAA concludes. It’s the type of conclusion that appears apparent on the floor however nonetheless must be highlighted given what number of states appear satisfied that elevating velocity limits can save drivers time, when all it actually does is endanger the lives of pedestrians and cyclists.

The report is the most recent in a rising physique of proof that finds that altering velocity limits can have a big effect on highway security within the US. AAA analyzed a dozen roadways of various varieties within the US wherein half raised their velocity limits whereas the opposite half lowered the restrict. The group then did a before-and-after evaluation to see what sort of impression the altered velocity limits had on site visitors security in addition to commute occasions.

The report is the most recent in a rising physique of proof that finds that altering velocity limits can have a big effect on highway security

Two of the three highways that elevated velocity limits skilled elevated numbers of crashes, accidents, or deaths. In the meantime, commute occasions remained “comparable” to the place they had been earlier than the bounds had been raised — dashing the expectation that growing speeds would result in quicker journeys for drivers. A variety of different highway varieties that raised velocity limits didn’t see a corresponding enhance in crashes, accidents, or deaths, main AAA to conclude that extra analysis is required.

Reducing velocity limits additionally had a marginal impression on commute occasions, which might assist sprint arguments that altering limits come on the expense of journey time and driver comfort.

Dashing is a vital consider site visitors crashes within the US. Dashing-related fatalities lately reached a 14-year excessive, making up nearly one-third of all site visitors deaths, in line with the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration. That is amid an ongoing “disaster” in highway deaths within the US, with site visitors fatalities peaking in 2021.

AAA recommends that states apply a “holistic strategy” to the query of elevating or reducing velocity limits, together with the kind of highway, surrounding land use, and historic crash knowledge.

“The motion in statehouses to lift velocity limits is occurring throughout the nation in no less than eight states this 12 months,” mentioned Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations for AAA. “However the advantages are overrated, and the dangers are understated. Growing velocity limits doesn’t at all times yield the optimistic outcomes envisioned by site visitors planners.”

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