Columbia, S.C., March 29, 2012 — Columbia car accident attorney Bert Louthian said today that stricter law enforcement and educational campaigns suggested by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) should be pursued to fight an increasing number of deaths attributed to speeding over the last 10 years.
“As a society, we should address speeding and the destruction it causes the same way we have worked against drunk driving and for the use of seat belts to save lives,” said Louthian, a partner in the Columbia personal injury firm, Louthian Law Firm, P.A.
The GHSA said this month that there has been progress in “nearly every other area of highway safety,” over the last 30 years, but speeding has continued to be a factor in about a third of traffic deaths each year.
Car accidents blamed on speeding in the U.S. accounted for 31 percent of all traffic deaths in 2010, marking a 7 percent increase since 2000, the GHSA said. At the same time, car crash fatalities blamed on not using a seatbelt dropped by 23 percent and deaths due to drunk driving were down by 3 percent.
The GHSA said that seven states have increased maximum speed limits “despite research showing that an increase in traffic deaths was attributable to raised speed limits on all road types after the 1995 repeal of federal speed limits,” of 55 mph.
South Carolina allows 70 mph speed limits on interstates.
The GHSA says states should consider increasing law enforcement efforts against “aggressive driving” because “the public considers aggressive driving a more serious threat to safety.” The study also suggests stricter enforcement of speeding in school and work zones, which it says has strong public support.
South Carolina has no specific “aggressive driving” law, although 11 states do. South Carolina law specifies enhanced fines of $75 to $200 or up to 30 days jail, or both, for speeding in a work zone.
The GHSA report also said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) should sponsor a high-visibility enforcement campaign and support public awareness efforts to address speeding and aggressive driving.
Louthian said if a South Carolina resident is severely injured in a car accident caused by speeding, they should seek legal help to hold the driver at fault accountable and to obtain compensation for their losses through a lawsuit if necessary.
“Those who suffer personal injury or the wrongful death of a loved one in a motor vehicle accident face medical bills, repair bills, lost income and other financial costs that often were caused by someone else’s recklessness, such as speeding,” Louthian said. “These are the people we stand up for and fight for..