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NTSB brings attention to speeding and rise of traffic fatalities

Virginia has not been immune to the rising death rate on the nation's roads. Federal regulators and safety advocates have speculated that smartphone use and higher volumes of traffic are reducing safety, but a study from the National Transportation Safety Board points the finger of blame at speeding.

The study analyzed crash data collected from 2005 to 2014. The researchers concluded that speeding killed a similar number of people as drunk driving. They identified speeding as the primary cause of 112,580 deaths during that period, or roughly 31 percent of traffic fatalities. The actions of drunk drivers ended the lives of 112,948 people.

The acting chairman of the NTSB said that society did not place a stigma upon speeding drivers. Although drunk driving has become socially unacceptable, speeding drivers do not experience anywhere near the same level of enforcement or penalties as intoxicated drivers. Speeding, like drinking, increases its deadly potential the more that a driver does it. High speeds increase the chances of crashes and serious injuries. For example, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle moving at 30 mph has a 60 percent chance of living. If the speed increases to 40 mph in the same scenario, a pedestrian's survival chances drop to 40 percent.

Speeding could represent negligence when a driver causes injuries to another person. Someone hurt in a collision caused by speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving or failing to follow traffic rules might have a legal right to pursue damages for medical bills, disability and lost income. Because organizing evidence and preparing insurance claims might challenge someone recuperating from serious injuries, the services of an attorney may support the recovery of damages. An attorney may be able to identify insurance coverage and private assets associated with the negligent party and file a personal injury lawsuit.

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