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GHSA report looks afresh at prevalence of speeding

The Governors Highway Safety Association came out with a report called, "Speeding Away from Zero: Rethinking a Forgotten Traffic Safety Challenge," which contains several methods for addressing the continuing trend of speeding. In Missouri and the rest of the U.S., speeding accounts for almost one-third of all motor vehicle-related fatalities.

Speeding drivers put pedestrians and bicyclists at especially high risk. All that's needed is even a slight decrease in speed to reduce not only the chances of a crash but also crash and injury severity when the worst does occur. Yet many consider speeding to be culturally acceptable. This lack of a safety-minded culture can be countered, the GHSA believes, with better education and stricter law enforcement.

The GHSA, partnering with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, will hold a forum with a wide range of stakeholders in the effort to create a speed reduction program. The GHSA's State Highway Safety Offices are in a unique position in state government to implement this program once it is developed and to spearhead other efforts to change the culture.

Many urban areas are already addressing speeding issues by altering their speed limits. However, more speeding-related deaths arise on rural roadways (they saw more than 5,000 such deaths in 2016 alone), so the GHSA wishes to apply the Vision Zero principles to these regions.

Reducing auto accident fatalities to zero is a difficult, perhaps impossible, goal because not all forms of driver negligence can be prevented. In the meanwhile, those injured by negligent drivers can sue for their losses, including their past and future medical expenses, lost income and vehicle damage. With a lawyer, they can strive for the maximum settlement possible. If the auto insurance company refuses to pay out or makes a low-ball offer, the lawyer could prepare for litigation.

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