The third leading contributing factor to traffic crashes and the most common aggressive driving behavior, speeding is involved in one out of three fatal crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Though speeding-related fatalities have decreased from 13,799 in 2002 to 9,944 in 2011, about 30 percent of fatal crashes each year are related to speeding.
When combined with impaired driving, as it often is, speeding becomes even more dangerous. The NHTSA reports that 40 percent of drivers involved in 2005’s speeding-related fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher while 75 percent of speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes between midnight and 3 a.m. had been drinking.
While other dangerous driving behaviors, including drunk driving and not wearing a seatbelt, have been reduced through tough laws and effective campaigns, speeding remains a challenge. However, the National Safety Council reports that automated speed enforcement, high-visibility enforcement paired with media campaigns and public education, and anti-aggressive driving programs are just a few strategies proven to effectively reduce speeding-related traffic crashes.
You can help reduce speeding and speeding-related traffic fatalities by following these tips:
- Stay alert, focus on the road, and avoid driving distractions, such as cell phone use
- Watch for and obey speed limit signs, especially in school zones, residential neighborhoods, and on secondary roads
- Avoid aggressive driving behaviors by following these tips for keeping your cool on the road
- Never drink and drive
- Spread awareness in your community with the help of the NHTSA’s Speed Prevention Toolkit, which offers marketing ideas and materials and media tools for speed management programs