While the speed limit in Pennsylvania may be as fast as 70 mph on the freeways, it’s no secret that many people drive much faster. Whether they have a lead foot, are late for an appointment or simply lost track of their speed, many drivers do not obey the posted speed limit.
Most people think of speeding as a harmless act. You get a ticket, you pay a fine, you move on. Maybe your insurance rates go up too. The reason for the law, though, and for the higher insurance premium, is because the data doesn’t lie. Speeding increases both the risk of accident and the risk of injury.
Volvo’s new safety program
Most state speed limits range between 55 and 70 mph, with no state allowing drivers to legally surpass 85 mph (on select Texas roads). Still, many cars go well over 100 mph. Volvo is moving to change that.
As part of a larger initiative called Vision 2020, the Swedish carmaker will no longer make any cars that go faster than 180 kilometers per hour (about 112 mph) beginning in 2020. Safety is the number one reason for the change, the carmaker says. That’s well above the 70 mph speed limit in Pennsylvania, but it illustrates that car companies are aware that people use their products in an unsafe way.
Speed limiters are rare in the United States, but not in other countries. It is law in Japan, and many European countries use them in different capacities as well. They are most common on commercial vehicles like buses and trucks and they serve the same primary function everywhere: to make the roads safer.
Human error and car accidents
While vehicle malfunctions and improper road maintenance cause many accidents, the number one cause of car accidents is human error. Volvo’s Vision 2020 program acknowledges this issue and the company says it’s also developing ways to limit intoxicated driving and distracted driving in its vehicles.
While the hope is that new vehicles will continually improve to make our highways safer, the fact remains that negligent drivers cause most accidents. If somebody was driving too fast for conditions, recklessly ignoring the speed limit, or driving while drunk or distracted, they are liable for the consequences of their actions. A car accident is an unsettling experience and the aftermath can be tragic, painful and confusing. If there are questions concerning liability, recovery or compensation, a knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the experience.