In 2017, speeding killed more than 9,000 people, accounting for 26% of all traffic fatalities that year. This isn’t something new, speeding has been the culprit in approximately one third of all motor vehicle fatalities for more than two decades.
We all know that speeding is against the law and potentially dangerous but here’s a breakdown of why.
- More likely to lose control of vehicle
- Safety equipment such as seat belts and airbags are less effective
- Stopping distance is increased
- Higher rate of impact if crash occurs
When travel speed increases by 1%, the injury crash rate increases by about 2%, the serious injury crash rate increases by about 3%, and the fatal crash rate increases by about 4%. The same relation holds in reverse: a 1% decrease in travel speed reduces injury crashes by about 2%, serious injury crashes by about 3%, and fatal crashes by about 4%.
While the majority of drivers see speeding as a safety concern, studies show that more than half of drivers regularly exceed the speed limit, in fact, 50% of drivers report driving 15mph over the speed limit on freeways.
It seems that as a society we are getting more and more busy each day, which leads to many of us running late and rushing to the next task at hand. Unfortunately, a long to-do list doesn’t give you a free safety pass. Following the speed limit is a vital part of safe driving. Although, speed limits may seem too low when you’re running late, they’re based on several factors. Speed limits are set based on an assessment of combined risk related to traffic flow, infrastructure, and chance of crash.
Speeding isn’t necessarily just exceeding the posted speed limit, you should also reduce your speed according to road conditions. If it is raining, visibility is reduced, or the roads are slick, drivers should reduce their speed in order to stay safe.