Articles Tagged with Speed LImit

The number of crashes, fatalities and serious injuries involving heavy trucks continues to increase across the country. Speed is the common denominator in most of these crashes.

Recall the horrifying images of the speeding Walmart truck which almost killed the comedian Tracy Morgan. This past January five children on a church trip to Disney World were killed when two eighteen wheelers collided.

In the trucking industry, most truck drivers are paid based on mileage, not hours worked. Now that truckers are required to keep electronic logbooks (effective December 2017), they can no longer maximize their miles by driving longer hours and cheating on their logbooks. Safety advocates believe that speed limiters are now even more important than ever because the only way truckers can make up the lost miles from the electronic logbooks is by speeding!

Now that the snow shovels have been put away and the lawn needs cutting, we are fast approaching the lazy days of Summer. However, the 100 days of Summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, are the deadliest days on our highways.

The 100 days of Summer are particularly dangerous for teenage drivers. During the 100 days, the number of teenage car crashes and fatalities will increase dramatically. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that in 2016, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers; an average of 10 people a day which is a 15% increase compared to the other months.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. A contributing factor for the dramatic increase in teen deaths in the Summer is the simple fact that teens are out of school and they are spending a lot more time on the roads and highways.

In recent years, we have seen a disturbing, though not surprising, trend in Massachusetts. As the population grows, car traffic grows, pedestrian traffic grows, and bicycle traffic grows.  This increased traffic poses a question that Boston lawmakers are currently addressing- how do we keep all of these people safe?  One way of keeping people safe is to decrease the speed limit within the city.  That was already done once, in 2017, with the city lowered the speed limit from 30 to 25.  Now, the city is talking about lowering the speed limit again.

The desire for a lower speed limit and safer streets is understandable when we look at the toll that traffic accidents take.  In 2013, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control estimated that crash-related deaths resulted in $438 million being lost to medical and work related costs.  It is no surprise, then, that the city of Boston plans to continue its efforts to create safer roadways for pedestrians and drivers by further reducing the speed limit. One difficulty with this proposal lies in the fact that it requires state approval for implementation.  This hurdle has led some to consider the idea of “safety zones,” which are certain areas with reduced speeds that would not require state approval.

While several factors contribute to pedestrian accidents- speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, poor weather conditions, nighttime driving- eliminating even one of those factors can lead to improved safety and fewer casualties and injuries.

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