It has long been recognized that when it comes to the roads, speed kills. Yet, drivers continue to speed for various reasons – such as running late, disregard for the law, frustration, road rage – despite the known risks.
According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA ) speeding is a leading cause of death on the roads. Excessive speed, as well as driving too fast in unfavorable driving conditions such as during poor visibility or in bad weather, endangers not only the driver but everyone on the road including passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.
In 2016, the deaths of 10,111 people were attributed to excessive speeding. That number represents 27% of all the traffic deaths that occured on the country’s roads. The same figure holds true for teen and young driver and passenger deaths.
The risks of injury and death increase at higher speeds because a passenger vehicle cannot withstand the impact. Additionally, airbags and seat belts are less effective at higher speeds. The severity of injuries also increases with the speed. A crash at 30 mph gives a person a 60 percent chance of survival, while a crash at 50 mph gives the person only a 40 percent chance.
In a recent June 18th, 2018 incident again demonstrating the dangers of speeding, officers responded to a severe crash, in Portland, Oregon. The crash was revealed to be caused by street racing between two-vehicles just before midnight. Three people were injured in the incident. The driver of one of the vehicles was cited for reckless and careless driving as well as speed racing.
According to Gassman Legal, P.C. which specializes in representing people injured in car accidents, statistics show that high-speed traffic deaths have risen over 10% in the most recent year. More severe penalties for speeding, similar to DUI penalties, could help bring those numbers down
Cities are also trying to take measures to get drivers to slow down. These measures include utilizing speed bumps, camera, ticketing, roundabouts and more. Many large cities, like Chicago, are trying to make streets safer by creating car-free travel alternatives to commuters. While all these initiatives have the potential to save lives, their effectiveness remains to be seen.