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Speed main culprit for increased traffic deaths

Traffic deaths have increased in the United States in recent years, and many theories have been proposed as to why that is. According to a study from the National Transportation Safety Board, excessive speed is to be blamed for the increase. The study found that 31 percent of all traffic fatalities were caused by accidents involving excessive speed on the road. This translates to 112,580 deaths in Louisiana and elsewhere between 2005 and 2014.

That is roughly the same as the number of people who were killed by drunk drivers during that time period. According to the NTSB, the penalties for speeding should be equal to the penalties for driving under the influence. The argument is that vehicles driven at excessive speed are more likely to get into an accident. These accidents are also more likely to result in a victim being seriously hurt or killed.

However, unlike drunk driving, there is no social stigma to keep drivers from speeding without significant legal penalties. The study also took issue with how speed limits are set. Instead of reflecting safe speeds for a given road, they are largely based on how fast the majority of drivers were traveling on it. This is known as the 85 percentile rule, and revising it may work to keep drivers and others safe while on the road.

If a careless driver causes an accident, injured victims may be entitled to compensation. For instance, a driver may disregard the safety of others by driving too fast or driving while intoxicated. Negligence may be established by pointing to driver statements, police reports or testimony offered by witnesses. If negligence caused a crash to occur, the person who caused it may be liable for paying medical bills or other damages incurred by the victims.

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