AAA: Small increase in speed could lead to more deadly crashes

Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 6:07 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - New research shows even a small increase in speed can cause much deadlier outcomes in crashes.

An easily survivable crash at 40 mph can be fatal at 50 mph, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

“You jump up then from 50 to 56 miles per hour, only a six mile an hour increase, the damage increase was significant. And we saw no neck injuries, broken legs, just a complete kind of a caveman of that drivers area,” says Clay Ingram with AAA Alabama.

Ingram says while cars are safer now than they’ve ever been, increasing our speed minimizes those safety benefits.

“The airbags, for example, are a great, wonderful thing. But they can only do so much. And the faster you’re going, the more that those airbags have to compete with to protect you. So you know, slow down, you’re speeding,” Ingram added.

Drivers often travel faster than posted speed limit signs, but AAA says when officials raise the speed limit, people still go faster.

Currently, 41 states, including Alabama, allow 70 mph or higher speeds on some roadways.

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