Need For Speed

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that speed-related crashes costs the United States more than $40 billion per year and the death toll is trending upwards.

Why is the nation in such a hurry to drive like maniacs??

Slate has a fascinating read about the nuances of American driving. It’s a complicated problem. As cities are discouraging “routine traffic stops” that disproportionately target Black men, it leaves an existential question about how to get everyone to collectively slow down.

But we need to. Consider some data. Last year the per-mile death rate rose by 24% due to drivers driving faster on empty roads. In 2021, traffic fatalities are up by 18%. Nearly 10,000 people die from speed-related deaths per year. Some say that this is a uniquely-American problem because in other countries where roads were not built for such wide and speedy cars, drivers have no choice but to slow their roll.

Politicians don’t have much of an appetite for passing lower speed limits but when they did in 1974, highway deaths fell by 23%. It’s a complicated problem but indisputably a problem. Do your part and slow the heck down and for goodness sakes, put down the phone!

Context: Last year Germany saw an 11% decrease in road deaths. Germany is home to the Autobahn where there is no speedlimit.

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