The speed of the vehicles involved in the carnage on the M5 is expected to be taken into account by the government as it considers increasing the limit to 80mph on motorways.
Plans to raise the legal limit from 70mph were put forward in September in a move criticised by road safety campaigners.
However, the issue caused controversy yesterday, when the Association of British Motorists accused "anti-car" groups of being "circling vultures over M5 dead" for suggesting the death toll would have been higher had the speed limit been increased.
Andrew Howard at the Automobile Association disagreed: "If you are travelling faster, you are going to stop slower and hit other people harder." The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents would not comment on the crash, but said: "Increasing the limit would lead to more severe accidents."