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More car accidents likely as Ohio increases speed limit

Much has been written about the frantic pace with which many Americans live their lives today. Many Ohio families can likely relate to feeling like they are moving at warp speed as they rush to school, work, soccer practice, playdates and trips to the store. With so many activities crammed into each day, most Ohioans rely heavy upon motor vehicles.

In an effort to cater to the busy lives of Ohio residents, lawmakers recently passed legislation that will raise the speed limit on some Ohio highways from 65 MPH to 70 MPH. While lawmakers have yet to designate which highway and freeways will be impacted, many safety advocates worry the increased speed limit will ultimately lead to an increase in car accidents.

When looking at the benefits and risks of increasing the speed limit, time and efficiency are often citied. Currently a car traveling 10 miles at a speed of 65 MPH can arrive at their destination in 9 minutes and 14 seconds. Traveling the same distance at 70 MPH would only shave off about 40 seconds . Given this miniscule time difference, it's difficult, therefore to make the case that a 70 MPH speed limit will save drivers time.

Those opposed to the speed limit increase site statistics provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which seem to indicate that increased speed limits lead to more car accidents. For example, two years ago the speed limit along Ohio's Turnpike was increased from 65 MPH to 70 MPH, since that time highway officials report that traffic accidents have increased significantly with an average of 20 more each month.

As the speed limit continues to increase on more Ohio highways, drivers would be wise to exercise caution while driving and obey safety driving laws. Doing so can help a driver avoid being involved in or causing an accident that could result in those involved sustaining serious or even fatal injuries.

Source: The Lima News, "Editorial: Speed trumps safety in Ohio," April 9, 2013

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