Faster Is Not Safer

Jan. 5, 2000
AAA Michigan warns that better roads and safer cars may reduce fatalities, but should not be a license to drive fast.

Contrary to recently published news reports, higher speed limits continue to pose a threat to road safety, AAA Michigan reported.

According to a 1998 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), actual road deaths in 32 states with higher speed limits were up 10.4 percent from 1995 to 1996, and interstate deaths were up 8.2 percent.

Better roads and safer cars may reduce fatality rates in some cases, but AAA Michigan said that should not be a license to drive fast.

"To leave the driving public with the impression that speed is not a major contributing factor in the number of fatalities on our roads is inaccurate and irresponsible," said Larry Givens, vice president of corporate relations for AAA Michigan. "As a matter of fact, nearly a third of all crashes nationwide are speed-related, second only to alcohol."

According to Givens, high-speed driving increases the likelihood of motor vehicle crashes because increased speed leaves the driver less time to react to changing road and traffic conditions.

At higher speeds, the impact of collisions is more severe. Actually, the chances of death or serious injury double every 10 miles per hour over 50 a vehicle travels.

States that were quick to remove speed restrictions are now re-imposing them. In Montana, for example, speed limits were eliminated, but re-imposed after fatalities increased 33 percent.

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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