Southerners Have A Need For Speed

5:10 PM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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Atlanta, GA -- As Memorial Day weekend approaches, the law enforcement offices are urging drivers to buckle up and slow down. A recent survey shows drivers in the South have a need for speed and we were able to prove it's true.

Reporters at our sister station WXIA conducted an experiment to see if it's true. They set their cruise control to the posted speed limit. It's 55 mph heading north on I-85 out of downtown Atlanta. Car after car passed them, some more quickly than others.

"For every mile per hour over the speed limit, that's increasing your chance that you're going to get into a more serious accident," said Katie Fallon of the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

That can be deadly. Every year in Georgia about 200 people die in crashes where speed is a contributing factor. A recent Allstate survey on driving habits shows that 56 percent of drivers in the south are more likely to have received a ticket for speeding or other moving violations.

In their test, it appeared they were the only ones traveling the speed limit. That also made it an uncomfortable situation, as vehicles would approach quickly from behind and then move out to pass.

"Maybe they should change the speed limit," one driver said, when asked about the 55 mph limit.

We asked Georgia's Department of Transportation about the speed limit on the interstates inside I-285.

Speed limits are tailored for "worse case" conditions, like peaks times, not necessarily for late at night or weekends when the lanes are free and clear. However, drivers are still expected to follow the speed limit and remain alert.


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