Speeding Away from Zero: Rethinking a Forgotten Traffic Safety Challenge
Speeding-related fatalities account for a considerable proportion of U.S. road trauma, historically comprising approximately one-third of total fatalities. Nationally, there were 9,717 speeding-related fatalities in 2017 – about 26% of the total, though the proportion of speeding crashes differs dramatically across the states. Speeding-related fatalities are associated with a number of factors, including driver characteristics, risky behaviors such as alcohol-impaired driving, marijuana-impaired driving or failure to buckle up, and environmental factors such as the built environment and driving conditions. Speeding-related crashes also have unique impacts for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and roadside workers. Overall progress on the issue of speeding has been limited at best.
Speeding remains a publicly-accepted driving behavior that is reinforced among motorists, policymakers and transportation stakeholders. National surveys of U.S. drivers have found that although drivers identify speeding as risky, drivers nonetheless continue to speed. Drivers have a minimal perception of risk of either getting a ticket, causing a crash, or violating social norms.