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NTSB finds speeding a major factor in traffic fatalities

Some people in California may be careful about never driving while drunk, but they might not use the same type of caution when it comes to speeding. Traffic fatalities have been on the rise for the last several years, and various experts have pondered whether smartphones or some other factor is to blame. The National Transportation Safety Board has done a study and concluded that speed is responsible for many of these deaths.

The study looked at motor vehicle accidents from 2005 to 2014 and found that nearly the same number of deaths were caused by speeding as by drunk driving. As a result, the NTSB is recommending increasing the penalties for speeding. At present, not only are penalties much lighter but speeding is not regarded as culturally stigmatizing in the same way that drunk driving is.

Another issue raised by the NTSB is how speed limits are determined. Often, they are not based on safety. Instead, something known as the "85th percentile rule" is used. This is simply the speed at which most vehicles on the road are traveling. The NTSB argues that this standard needs to be revisited with data such as how often pedestrians use the road and the history of crashes on the road. However, some communities have complained that measures to slow speed increase their commutes.

If a person is injured in an accident because of a speeding driver, that driver may be responsible for covering the injured person's expenses. Sometimes, there can be complications associated with collecting this compensation. For example, a person might have a condition such as a traumatic brain injury or whiplash that does not show up immediately after the accident, and the insurance company may decline to cover the costs. The injured person might want to talk to an auto accident attorney about the situation to see how expenses might be recovered.

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