Last summer, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed legislation to increase the speed limit for interstate travel to 70 mph. The speed limit is not the only thing that has increased since then. Car accidents have spiked, causing speculation as to whether the speed limit hike is to blame.
Wisconsin reportedly was the last state in the Midwest to increase the interstate speed limit. Now, Wisconsin is 1 of 39 states whose maximum speed limit is 70 mph or more.
Accident statistics for the interstate system in Wisconsin in June, July, August and September showed an almost 13% increase over the same four months last year — 319 more crashes — and 16% higher than in 2013 with 390 more crashes. Accidents with injuries also increased, though by slight margins — 31 more during that period compared with last year and 46 more compared with 2013.
Fatalities on the interstate totaled 15 during June, July, August and September, compared with 10 last year, 12 in 2013 and 13 in 2012. This year’s accident statistics are still preliminary, according to the state’s Bureau of Transportation Safety.
Similarly, traffic deaths have increased by 12 percent in the past year in Ohio. Fatal accidents have more than doubled in Clark County specifically.
This year, 870 people have perished in car accidents in Ohio, an increase from last year’s 773. So far this year, 18 deaths have been reported in Clark County, whereas only 7 had been reported at this time last year.
Coincidentally, Ohio legislators passed legislation in 2013 to increase the speed limit on highways from 65 to 70 mph.
At this time, research regarding whether increased speed limits cause spikes in car accidents is inconclusive. One this is certain, accidents at higher speeds do result in more serious injuries and fatalities.
As car accident attorneys who represent people harmed in traffic accidents caused by other drivers disregard for safety, we understand the harm that speeding drivers cause. If you have been injures in a car accident, contact the car accident attorneys at The Lambert Firm today to discuss your legal options.