Apr 6, 2019

Speed limit increases killed 37,000 people over 25 years, study claims

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The right to drive fast may not be as sacrosanct in the U.S. as Germany, but it comes at a price either way.

Driving the news: "Increased speed limits have killed nearly 37,000 people over the last 25 years, according to new research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety," USA Today reports. "The study concluded that a 5 mph increase in the speed limit causes an 8% increase in death rates on interstates and freeways. It causes a 3% increase in deaths on other roads."

The big picture: "41 states have roads with speed limits of at least 70 mph."

Between the lines: Germany considered speed limits for environmental reasons earlier this year, but then backed off, the N.Y. Times reports.

  • "Germany is woefully behind on meeting its 2020 climate goals, so the government appointed a group of experts to find ways to lower emissions in the transport sector. Cars account for 11 percent of total emissions, and their share is rising."
  • "A highway speed limit of ... 75 miles per hour, could cover a fifth of the gap to reach the 2020 goals for the transport sector, environmental experts say."
  • "Irate drivers took to the airwaves. Union leaders menacingly put on their yellow vests, hinting at street protests. And the far-right opposition used the opportunity to rage against the 'stranglehold' of the state."

The bottom line: "Every time you raise speed limits, you see more deaths," said IIHS vice president for research and statistical services Charles Farmer.

Go deeper

Alaska becomes latest state to issue coronavirus stay-at-home order

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

All Alaskans in the state are under a mandate to "remain at their place of residence and practice social distancing" except for those engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: This is the latest state to announce policies to enforce social distancing. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide were asked to stay home Monday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 11 mins ago - Health

Hungary's Viktor Orbán granted sweeping powers amid coronavirus crisis

Viktor Orbán. Photo: Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images

Hungary's parliament passed a law Monday to allow Prime Minister Viktor Orbán almost unlimited power, for an indefinite period, to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: Hungary has taken a sharply authoritarian turn over the past decade under Orbán, and its likely that he and other strongman leaders around the world will seek to maintain powers they gain during the current crisis long after it's over.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 737,929 — Total deaths: 35,019 — Total recoveries: 156,507.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 143,055 — Total deaths: 2,513 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. Trump latest: The president brushed aside allegations that China is spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus on "Fox & Friends."
  5. Business updates: Americans are calm about their retirement savings despite coronavirus fallout.
  6. World updates: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will self-isolate after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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