How fast is too fast when driving on the highway? That’s a question that would likely be answered very differently depending on who you ask (and possibly how fast they need to get to where they’re going when you ask them…).
A proposal to raise the speed limit is currently being debated in Florida’s legislature, which is considering a bill to raise the states highway speed from 70 mph to 75 mph in some areas. Some states have raised their speed limits to 75 mph, and even 80 – 85 mph in some areas. If Florida does the same, will other states follow?
Higher Speed Limits Mean More Car Accidents, AAA Says
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is opposed to Florida’s possible speed hike to 75 mph. According to CBS Miami News 4, Lee Moffitt, a lobbyist for AAA, says that the bottom line is that the proposal will likely result in more car accidents, as:
- A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that nearly a third of all motor vehicle fatalities in 2012 were speed-related.
- States with higher speed limits generally exceed the national average of fatalities.
- Allowing people to drive faster only increases the time in which they need to stop to avoid an accident.
Moffitt and the AAA aren’t the only ones opposed to the bill. Although the House Transportation & Highway Safety Subcommittee voted 13-1 to support the measure, the lone holdout was Rep. Irv Slosberg, a Boca Raton Democrat, who believes that pushing the limit to 75 mph will likely result in drivers going 80 mph and higher – which he says only increases the risks of injury and death – and simply isn’t needed.
Florida raised its maximum highway speed to 70 mph in 1996. If it increases that to 75 mph, it would join Maine in becoming the only other state east of the Mississippi River to have a speed limit over 70 mph.There are several states west of the Mississippi that allow speed limits of 80 mph – and even a small area in Texas that allows 85 mph. The question is will Florida or another state be next.
New York Unlikely To Raise Limits
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), New York has no plans to increase the speed limit to 65 mph on any additional roads.Ironically, there is a current push to reduce speed limits in New York City (NYC) to combat an increasing number of pedestrian fatalities. The current speed limit in NYC is 30 mph– which resulted in 286 deaths last year. Twenty people have already been killed in the first three months of 2014. The issue resulted in Mayor Bill deBlasio’s introduction of Vision Zero, a plan that would, among other things, decrease the speed limit in NYC to 25 mph. Others would like to see it lowered further – to 20 mph.
Speeding is only one of the factors that can lead to serious car accident injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, permanent disability and more. These injuries can result in loss of wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, permanent disability, mental impairment, earning capacity impairment, loss of profits and costly medical bills.