The federal government’s 1995 decision to allow states to set speed limits higher than 65 mph caused almost 14,000 additional deaths over 25 years on interstates and freeways, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
That average of 560 deaths a year ”is really a big deal,” said Charles Farmer, the author of the study and a vice president of the Insurance Institute.
Polaris Industries has agreed to pay $27.25 million – a record penalty – to settle charges that it failed to immediately notify federal officials about a fire hazard on its recreational off-highway vehicles that regulators have linked to at least one death and more than 180 fires.
Traffic safety measures ranging from seat belt and drunk driving enforcement to design standards for cars and trucks “averted a public health disaster” by preventing about 5.8 million deaths in the U.S. from 1968 through 2015, according to a new study.
The analysis found that without federal and state policies, traffic deaths annually would “likely have been in the hundreds of thousands rather than tens of thousands” in recent years.
In recent years, Polaris Industries, the leading producer of off-road vehicles, has recalled hundreds of thousands of its trail machines due to a fire danger. The hazard is linked to at least three deaths and three dozen injuries ranging from minor scrapes to limbs burned so badly amputation was required.
Three years ago, General Motors chief executive Mary Barra admitted that for years the automaker had concealed an ignition-switch defect, which has now been linked to at least 124 deaths. And she assured federal regulators that there would be a new pro-safety and pro-consumer attitude at the company.
The scope of deadly hazards such as texting and drug use by drivers may be underestimated and not adequately addressed because police aren’t collecting enough information at crash scenes, according to a new report.