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Drivers respond to lower speed limits

It’s long been known that automobile crashes involving vehicles moving at comparatively greater speeds pose a higher risk of serious injury or death on New York highways. Additionally, studies have shown that speeding increases the likelihood of any crash, injury or non-injury. And while speed is not the only contributing risk factor, it is the primary one.

Considering this information, it is not surprising to learn that various highway safety studies have been commissioned to explore the issues and recommend an approach to reduce accidents. The results indicate drivers will reduce their overall speeds in response to a lowering of the posted speed limit. While this alone may not be surprising, how a small change can make a measurable difference may be.

One study showed how the reduction in the speed limit by as little as 5 mph can lower the predictability of a driver speeding while traveling over 35 mph. The significance of even a slight reduction in speeding is emphasized by the following finding – a pedestrian, struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph has a 25 percent risk of serious injury or death, but that number doubles to 50 percent if the vehicle is traveling at 33 mph.

Armed with this data, it may come as no surprise that certain municipalities are ramping up enforcement of speeding and other traffic violations. Those who are convicted of multiple or repeat offenses face significant monetary fines, increased insurance rates and potential loss of license. If cited for a violation, it may be prudent to fight the ticket rather than automatically plead guilty and pay the fine. A traffic violations lawyer can assist in the process.