Speed is often a factor in car accidents. Though the law posts limits to reduce these speeds, many motorists falsely believe they can safely drive over that limit. Therefore, when the state raises the speed limit, the true maximum speed driven by many motorists also rises, putting others at risk.
A proposed bill seeking to increase the speed limit to 70 mph on certain sections of Massachusetts' Interstates and the Massachusetts Turnpike is currently before the Legislative's Transportation Committee. The bill, introduced by now resigned Rep. Dan Winslow, would put Massachusetts in line with 34 other states. Opponents of the bill say that the increased speed will cause more accidents and more fatalities. Supporters, on the other hand, point out that accidents have actually decreased in states that have increased their speed limit and that around 85% of drivers in Massachusetts are already driving 70 mph on the Interstate.
Legally increasing the speed limit could have an impact on civil cases involving car accidents. If the main contributing factor of an accident was speed, then an increase in the speed limit would also increase the speed needed for one to be considered legally driving recklessly. However, it is possible that the new limit, if imposed, will have little effect at all, as most drivers are already driving at the speed and a vast majority of car accidents are caused by driver error, not speed in excess of 65 mph.
Although there is little evidence connecting speed with an increase in accidents or fatalities there is always a point where one can be driving too fast. An individual who is harmed by another driver who was driving too fast may be able to bring a legal claim against that motorist in an attempt to recover his or her economic and noneconomic losses. A Massachusetts personal injury attorney can be pivotal in putting forth the best claim possible.
Source: Wicked Local, "Safe at any speed?," Nickolas Iovina, April 12, 2014