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Speeding is causing an increase in traffic deaths, study says

Statistics show that traffic deaths have increased in South Carolina and across the United States in recent years. What isn't clear is the exact cause of that increase. Some experts believe that the death-rate spike is simply a byproduct of the increased number of drivers on the road. Others point to more drivers and pedestrians being distracted by mobile phones. However, a new study suggests that speeding drivers are the primary cause of rising fatalities.

The study, authored by the National Transportation Safety Board, reviewed motor vehicle crashes between 2005 and 2014. The study found that speeding was the primary factor in 112,580 automobile-related deaths. That accounts for approximately 31 percent of all traffic fatalities during that time period. These figures are nearly identical to the number traffic deaths attributed to drunk driving.

Based on these findings, the NTSB has recommended increasing penalties for speeding to match that of driving under the influence. The recommendations also include an expansion of enforcement tools such as speed cameras. Finally, the NTSB has also recommended revamping the way states determine speed limits. Under the current system, states simply derive speed limits based on how fast vehicles generally travel on a given road. However, safety advocates say that states should assign speed limits based on what is safest for drivers.

Much like driving while intoxicated, speeding can lead to fatal traffic collisions. Therefore, an individual injured by a speeding driver may have a claim for damages. An attorney with experience in personal injury law may be able to help a victim negotiate a settlement.

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