Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
lies, damn lies, and statistics with regards to speed limit changes and rural highway fatalities
Someone endorsed broad research to ascertain the effect of speed limits (or speeding) on highway fatalities. Of course, such research invariably sux b/c there are a myriad of factors that affect highway fatality rates. Accordingly, you NEVER average across various domains . . . it's basically worthless research if you do not control for confounders (local laws, changes in safety regs, demographics, etc).
Local conditions can change dramatically in relatively short periods of time (and have dramatic effects on highway fatalities) . . . the physics never change (p;KE).
I'm not sure what your intention was when you posted this link. Do you realize it supports my point?
According to these statistics, it is actually safer to raise speed limits than to leave them unchanged. The table has data for 48 of 50 states. This data shows that 42% (5 of 12) of states raising the speed limit saw a higher fatality rate. A full 58% saw fatality rates drop
their speed limits. In other words, more than half of the states raising their speed limits seem to have become safer
On the other hand, 58% (21 of 36) of the states that did NOT raise speed limits saw higher fatality rates. Only 39% saw the fatality rate drop. One state had no change. It appears raising speed limits is less dangerous than leaving limits unchanged!
Even more interesting is the magnitude of the changes. None of the five states with the highest increase in fatality rates raised their speed limits. Maryland was the worst. It did NOT raise limits but still saw a 199% increase in its fatality rate. Nebraska and Georgia are next with 99% and 95% increases respectively. They did NOT raise speed limits. You have to go down to number six, Missouri, to find the first state with raised limits and
a high fatality rate increase (51%).
What does this prove? It's really simple. The numbers are there for everyone to see. We must raise speed limts to save lives.
OK, maybe not. What the numbers really show is there are a host of factors that affect highway fatalies, just as BBD says. But this cuts both ways. Contrary to the IIHS press release, we don't see a consistent correlation between speed limits and fatalities. They pick and choose the numbers they use to support their agenda. They don't mention the seven states that raised speed limits and lowered the fatality rate or the 21 states with increased fatality rates in spite of NOT increasing speed limits. Instead, they focus on the five states that raised limits and
saw increased fatality rates. Bottom line, IIHS is dishonest ... which is my point.
Finally, there is sound logic supporting the concept of selectively raising speed limits to save lives. Old two-lane roads are quite dangerous compared to modern multi-lane, limited-access divided highways. If you leave the speed limits the same on both types of roads, people tend to use whatever is shorter. This puts more people on the older, dangerous roads, increasing fatalities. If you raise speed limits on divided highways while leaving limits lower on the old roads, traffic will shift to the safer divided highways. This can reduce overall fatalities. The key is raising limits enough to encourage people to use divided highways, even if they have to drive a few miles out of their way.