Many car drivers continually go 5-10 miles per hour over the speed limit. According to a study done by a Purdue University Professor most of the 988 drivers used in his study on car drivers’ perceptions on speed limits had no problem going up to even 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. The study was done with car drivers in Tippencanoe County, Indiana, where Purdue University is located. In Mannering’s study, he finds that 43% of the car drivers believe that it is safe to go up to 10MPH over the speed limit, and 36% believe that going up to 20MPH is safe.
The researchers claim that car drivers’ disregard for speed limits can be blamed on 1974’s Emergency Highway Conservation Act, which was enacted when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started an oil embargo against the United States. High gas prices became a national concern. President Nixon signed two bills into action at the beginning of the embargo. First was the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973 which set gas barrel prices so that they would not exceed $7.55 per barrel.
The second was the Emergency Highway Conservation Act, which set the maximum national speed limit to 55MPH. The idea that highway officials set speed limits artificially low has passed down through the decades, even after the 55-max speed limit law was lifted. Because automobile drivers are used to thinking of speed limits as artificially low, it creates a vicious cycle where highway officials must then set speed limits artificially low, knowing that car drivers will go over it. This is extremely dangerous and can result in a serious car accident if highway officials do NOT set the speed limit artificially low, and actually sets it to the safest maximum speed.
Our car accident lawyers are extremely concerned about how safely automobile drivers operate their cars. We encourage all car drivers to obey the speed limit, whether you believe they are artificially low or not. Ignoring the speed limit may cause a serious car accident that can take away yours or a loved one’s life. We encourage police officers to enforce speed limits so that car drivers do not become used to disregarding the speed limit. The study shows that people will obey the speed limit more if they feel that there is a risk of being caught.
If all automobile drivers slow down, we can create a much safer driving environment for everybody, including drivers, car passengers, and pedestrians.
Please contact us for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney — we speak both English and Spanish — at (800) 655-6585. Click here and you may also submit your case for a Free Review. No fee if no recovery.