Tiger Woods was driving about 40 miles per hour over the speed limit when he crashed on Feb. 23 in Los Angeles, putting a renewed focus on the perils of speeding on the nation’s roadways.
In 2018, 9,378 people lost their lives due to speeding, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Woods was among the fortunate in that he walked away from the wreck.
For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in an estimated one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. In 2018, speeding was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities, notes NHTSA.
Speeding is a type of aggressive driving behavior and fleet owners need to continually remind drivers to refrain from the behavior, which can be triggered by everything from heavy traffic to running late.
Experts say the actual extent of the problem is underestimated because the reporting of speeding-related crashes is inconsistent. But here’s what we do know.
Speeding can result in loss of vehicle control, which increases both the likelihood of a crash and the severity of injuries sustained. Higher vehicle speeds lead to larger changes in velocity, which, in turn, lead to higher injury severity.
The National Transportation Safety Board recently announced its 2021-2022 Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements. Chief among them is “Implementing a comprehensive strategy to eliminate speeding-related crashes.”
The NTSB says speed-limiters on large trucks, automated enforcement, expert speed analysis tools, and education campaigns are underused. The organization is advocating for usage of these critical tools and strategies in order to address this chronic roadway safety problem. Many safety advocates also endorse lowering speed limits.