65 mph speed limit : analysis of fatal accident injury severity
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65 mph speed limit : analysis of fatal accident injury severity

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    Project memorandum
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  • Abstract:
    Several studies of the fatality experience in the 38 states that implemented a65 mph speed

    limit on Rural Interstate highways in 1987 concluded that the higher speed limit has

    caused fatalities to increase. This relationship between the speed limit and fatalities

    was found when the experience of all these states was considered simultaneously.

    Another perspective has been used as well, mainly in more informal analyses. These

    analyses examined the fatality experience of one state to draw conclusions about that state,

    and often, by inference, other states. These efforts have produced mixed results. The small

    and variable numbers of Rural Interstate fatalities makes individual state analyses difficult.

    This study seeks to extend the studies of the group experience of states that raised the

    speed limit along three lines:

    (1) including all 1988 data from the Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) to

    look for effects on occupant fatalities. Most studies used data only for 1987 [2].

    (2) examining not only occupant fatalities, but the injury severity distribution ofall

    occupants in fatal accidents.

    (3) using the added data to try to learn more about the way in which speed affects

    the number and severity of accidents.

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