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Higher speed limits leading to more fatalities

Research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that rising speed limits have led to an increase in the number of roadway fatalities nationwide. Drivers in Colorado may be interested in the details of the study, which concluded that higher travel speeds have resulted in more traffic deaths even though the number of fatalities overall has dropped since 1993. Until 1995, the speed limit nationwide was 55 mph. Since then, more than 40 states have increased limits to 70 mph or more.

After looking at the number of traffic fatalities annually for the years from 1993 to 2017, IIHS researchers concluded that there were 36,760 more traffic deaths during that period than there would have been if speed limits had remained at 55 mph. The study controlled for factors like the use of seat belts, unemployment rates and the number of younger drivers in an area.

For every 5 miles per hour that a speed limit is increased, according to the study, the number of car accident fatalities on that road increased by 8.5%. The author of the study made a point about the amount of time that is saved by driving faster. Going 70 mph instead of 65 mph only saves the driver 6.5 minutes at best, he said. Driving faster increases the likelihood of a crash, and it also increases the severity of crashes when they happen.

In a case where a person is killed in a car accident in Colorado, his or her family or estate may have claims for damages. The victim's family may be able to recover for loss of companionship, loss of consortium, loss of services, loss of income, mental anguish or other damages. There may also be claims available for the deceased person's medical expenses and burial expenses. An attorney could help in such cases by identifying liable parties or negotiating the terms of a monetary settlement.

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