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New report recommends ways to reduce speeding deaths

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a report on the danger of speeding and what can be done to eliminate it. Drivers in California, as elsewhere, may be aware that traffic deaths have increased over the past few years. The trend isn't due to drunk drivers or drivers playing with their smartphones; rather, the blame is entirely on speeders.

NTSB found that from 2005 to 2014, there were 112,580 speeding-related deaths on America's roads. This composed 31 percent of all traffic deaths. Compare that with the number of drunk driving deaths in the same period of time: 112,948. And yet, the NTSB notes, speeding does not come with the same heavy penalties or the same social stigma as DUI does.

This is why the first recommendation made in the report is to raise the public's awareness of how speed kills. Laws allowing for stricter penalties could be enforced. The use of tools like speeding cameras, which are currently illegal in many states, could be considered.

The last crucial recommendation is to change the nation's speed limits so that they match speeds with the lowest crash involvement rate. The NTSB isn't alone; the international Vision Zero movement has been making similar proposals. Some proposals, such as reconfiguring lanes in what is called a road diet, have met with complaints and even lawsuits.

It remains to be seen, then, if these efforts will reduce nationwide speeding fatality rates. Those who are involved in a car accident because the other driver was speeding may be eligible for compensation. The first thing they will want to do is consult with a lawyer. Lawyers can assess the validity of the claim, hire investigators, and factor in any contributory negligence into the potential settlement. They can also negotiate with auto insurance companies and litigate when necessary.

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