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Speeding Still to Blame in Third of Fatal Crashes

Distracted driving is perhaps the most talked about driver’s safety issue of the day. But it is far from the only issue. On the contrary, speeding is involved in a third of all fatal crashes and is the third leading contributing factor to all crashes, according to the NHTSA. Though texting while driving is surely dangerous, Americans still struggle with slowing down and following posted speed limits.

Drivers Admit Speeding is a Problem

A recent survey from the NHTSA indicates half of drivers acknowledge speeding is a problem. The National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior found that despite the fact that half of drivers acknowledge that speeding is a dangerous problem, one in five admits to trying to get to their destinations as fast as possible.Four out of five respondents say that driving at or near the speed limit reduces the risk of an auto accident and makes it easier to avoid dangerous situations. More than 90 percent agree that everyone should obey the speed limits.Yet, more than one-quarter of drivers who responded say they speed without thinking and they enjoy going fast. Some said speeding isn’t necessarily dangerous for “skilled drivers.”

Reasons (Excuses) for Speeding

Why we speed depends on personal motivations. Many people speed simply because that’s how they’ve always driven. They may not be in a hurry, but will pass vehicles and engage in dangerous driving simply because that’s how they drive.The National Safety Council suggests the following reasons people speed:
  • They don’t believe they will get a ticket.
  • They are late or in a hurry.
  • They don’t think their driving is dangerous and likely see themselves as a “skilled” driver.
  • They aren’t paying attention to their speed.
  • They don’t believe the laws apply to them or don’t take speed limits seriously.
If you’ve ever driven on a busy stretch of interstate or in a large city, you know that people often speed to keep up with traffic. In situations like this, it could be dangerous to drive slower when traffic is moving at a decent clip. But in situations like this everyone needs to slow down.

Speeding Facts

Some people are more likely to speed and some locations are more inviting to people inclined to speed. Here are some basic facts on speeding:
  • Men are more likely to speed than women.
  • Inexperienced drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are most likely to admit to speeding.
  • Young drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are also most likely to be involved in a speed-related accident.
  • Speed-related accidents claim over 13,000 lives each year.
  • Work zones and school zones are known trouble-spots for speeders, where compliance with lower speed limits is poor.
  • 47% of speed-related accidents happen on roads with posted speed limits of 50 mph or less, not on major highways, contrary to what most people think.
Speeding is a habitual driving behavior that takes time and effort to correct. When paired with heavy traffic, drinking and driving, aggression, or any number of other factors, the risk of a speed-related auto accident is increased significantly. Every day, motorists and pedestrians are injured by drivers who are speeding or driving too fast for conditions. People who have been injured by a speeder in an accident in South Carolina may have legal rights to seek compensation for their injuries.