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Higher Speed Limit Causes Death Risk To Women, Elderly

POSTED: 10:51 a.m. EDT June 5, 2003

PHILADELPHIA -- A new study says raising the speed limit to 70 mph or more increases the risk of death for women and the elderly.

But the study says higher speed limits don't increase the risk of death for young men.

Congress abolished the national speed limit of 55 mph in 1995. Since then, 29 states have raised their speed limits to at least 70 mph.


Researchers say that those states didn't experience an increase in the overall number of traffic fatalities. But they say that fatalities per 100,000 people rose 10 percent for women and 13 percent for the elderly.

The study also says there was no increase for men under the age of 65.

Thomas Dee, an assistant economics professor at Swarthmore College who is the study's coauthor, says that a higher speed limit increases the variance of driving speeds and thus the risk of accidents.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.thehawaiichannel.com/automotive/2250896/detail.html
 

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Discussion Starter #2
HotRodSaint said:
...raising the speed limit to 70 mph or more increases the risk of death for women and the elderly.

...higher speed limits don't increase the risk of death for young men.

...states didn't experience an increase in the overall number of traffic fatalities.

...fatalities...rose 10 percent for women and 13 percent for the elderly.

...no increase for men under the age of 65.

...higher speed limit increases the variance of driving speeds and thus the risk of accidents.
In other words, women and old people drive too slow on the freeway and they make sudden lane changes without looking in their review mirror or using the turn signals.

Why don't they just say what all of us already know instead of trying to spin it into another fake 'speed kills' study?
 

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When im driving to work, im usually doing 80-90mph, keeping up with traffic! But Sh!t really hits the fan when some elderly driver decides to "pass" someone out, they start to pass at 65 mph, when the fast lane(I know its the passing lane) is traveling at 80-90. Almost everyone slams on the brakes, and this is where the accidents happen. I see it all the time. Espcially at night when its hard for them to see, they like to do 55(the old speed limit)
No offense to the "older" drivers, but i think they should be tested every 6 months, just to make sure they are capable of driving!
 

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ultravorx said:
No offense to the "older" drivers, but i think they should be tested every 6 months, just to make sure they are capable of driving!
That wouldn't work, there wouldn't be much elders left on the road. Cadillac sales would go down the drain!!!
 

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Seems we always need a new study to tell us something that we probably already knew.
Charles Darwin......"Survival of the fittest."
What species is a driver?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Today this 100 year old lady (ok, she was probably only 80) makes a left turn doing 5 miles an hour right in front of us. I look at her in amazement and raise my hands like, what the heck lady? She looks at me kinda confused and keeps driving out into the traffic at 5mph. I hope she doesn't cause a 'speeder' to hit her. She really looked like a sweet old lady. :halo:

Oh, and her's the kicker. She was driving a CADILLAC!! :crying:
 

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Or even when your going around town and they hold up traffic miles because their going 35 in a 40...... That drives me insane!!!
 

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Some of my past research into psychology showed the drivers with the best reflexes (younger) were more likely to take risks or dares, they can actually get their neck turned around and shoulder check and they don't bother. The older drivers are more careful, meaning they drive more slowly, but may have cataracs or actually legally blind. There is a new law here that says if an elderly family member is driving in bad health, it is up to a family member to report the disability to the liscense issuer.
 

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If they can't compete......Screw'em they should stay HOME and watch TV!
 

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I would have to say a MAJORITY of old people are good drivers, if they are of good health..... Sure their reaction time may not be as good, but they drive slower to make up for that.....

But there are ones that can hardly walk that shouldnt be driving....

If they have good sight and are of a clear mind, they are as good as anyone else..... They have pleanty of experience....
 

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elwesso said:
I would have to say a MAJORITY of old people are good drivers, if they are of good health..... Sure their reaction time may not be as good, but they drive slower to make up for that.....

But there are ones that can hardly walk that shouldnt be driving....

If they have good sight and are of a clear mind, they are as good as anyone else..... They have pleanty of experience....
I agree they have a lot of good experience, and they are more cautious and go slower, but my point is that means NOTHING if they cannot physically shoulder check or have foggy vision due to cataracts. Plus, we are going to increase our speed limit in our great prairie province to 110 kph. When you have elderly drivers going too slow because they are too cautious, and younger dudes going too fast, this can be an equasion for disaster.

Question, is it true that in the States they lowered the speed limit in 1974 to 55mph because of the fuel "shortage?" If so, what was the limit before that year? This would clear up a lot of rumors up here. What is the max. speed limit where you live, I would be very interested to know this from everyone. Also, I heard about some studies that state that when the speed limits increased in the U.S., the death rate declined. Possibly due to the fact that everyone speeded anyway, and increasing the limit made for a more smooth transition for the majority of drivers?!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ralph said:
I agree they have a lot of good experience, and they are more cautious and go slower, but my point is that means NOTHING if they cannot physically shoulder check or have foggy vision due to cataracts.
Braking (or stopping) to make a lane change, is beyond cautious. But we are picking way too much on the elderly. There's plenty of stupid drivers that aren't old or vision impaired.

If the US (and Canada?) had higher requirements to obtain and keep a drivers license, then road safety would increase. The left lane is for passing, period. But how many people view it as their 'right' to travel in that lane at 55mph even though it impedes the flow of traffic?

Also the way in which law enforcement enforces the laws needs to be readjusted. Impeding the flow of traffic is against the law. It is a factor in highway safety as it causes people to wrongly pass on the right. Yet has anyone ever seen someone get pulled over for impeding the flow of traffic? To the contrary, I've seen CHP car's pass slower traffic on the right too.

It's just easier and politically correct to target speeders. We have been indoctrinated since the '70's that speed alone is responsible for death and mayhem on the highways.

Until science is free of politics and the facts are allowed to be heard despite the special interest groups best efforts then we will continue to have flawed science and flawed public policy. This article is just another PC spin on what could be a starting point for better public policy for highway safety.
 
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