Speed limit increase contributes to rise in Iowa highway deaths

The overall traffic-related deaths in Iowa are on the decline, but highway deaths are continuing to climb throughout the state. This rise in highway deaths is believed to be associated with the speed limit increase for rural highways that was implemented back in 2005.

The speed limit increase, from 65 mph to 70 mph, has contributed to the 10 percent rise in highway-related traffic deaths since 2005. Records available through the Iowa Department of Transportation indicate that there were 250 fatalities on the highways in Iowa between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2011.

Safety experts claim that an increase in the speed limit directly correlates to an increase in traffic-related deaths. Factors that contribute to this reasoning include drivers traveling at excessive speeds, reckless driving, and unsafe road conditions.


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