Ever since motorized vehicles have become an excepted mode of transport, car manufacturers have striven to make cars faster and more powerful. Faster cars lead to faster speed limits. It has also been established that increases in speed limits lead to drivers traveling at higher speeds. Recently, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) decided to look into the effect of increased horsepower on the speed at which motorist travel. The study pointed to a clear link between increased horsepower and higher travel speed increasing the chances of car accidents.
Tennessee motorists may be interested in knowing that between 1985 and 2015 cars became significantly more powerful. In fact, cars are 60 percent more powerful, the power of SUVs increased by 66 percent and the power of pick-up trucks increased by 65 percent. During the same time, states have increased speed limits on roads. All of these factors contribute to drivers driving faster and faster, thereby increasing road fatality rates annually.
In the study done by the IIHS, it was found that there was a clear link between an increase in power and an increase in the probability that a driver will drive over the speed limit. In fact, drivers behind the wheel of a car with high horsepower was more likely to drive more than 10 mph over the speed limit than people traveling in less powerful cars. Stronger cars also indicated higher mean speeds.
The number of car accidents in Tennessee is rising annually. It is also a well-known fact that higher speeds increase the chances of death or serious injury. Often those killed or seriously injured are innocent victims of another person’s recklessness, but still the victims and/or their families are left to face the consequences. Civil law provides an opportunity for recourse, as a seriously injured victim has the right to file a personal injury claim against a reckless driver, while the legal estate of a deceased victim may file a wrongful death claim.
Source: iihs.org, “High horsepower connected with speeding“, Accessed on Aug. 28, 2016