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

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Elevating velocity limits results in extra frequent automobile crashes, whereas decreasing them results in fewer crashes, a brand new evaluation by AAA concludes. It’s the form of conclusion that appears apparent on the floor however nonetheless must be highlighted given how many states seem convinced that raising speed limits can save drivers time, when all it actually does is endanger the lives of pedestrians and cyclists.

The report is the newest in a rising physique of proof that finds that altering velocity limits can have a big effect on street security within the US. AAA analyzed a dozen roadways of various sorts 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 influence the altered velocity limits had on site visitors security in addition to commute instances.

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

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

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

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Dashing is a vital think about site visitors crashes within the US. Dashing-related fatalities just lately reached a 14-year excessive, making up virtually one-third of all site visitors deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That is amid an ongoing “disaster” in street 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 decreasing velocity limits, together with the kind of street, surrounding land use, and historic crash information.

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

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