Driver attitude survey: speeding still a serious problem for MA drivers
Most drivers have broken the law by speeding at some point, whether because they were rushing to get somewhere or simply enjoying the feeling of traveling at a high speed. Unfortunately, many drivers in Worcester County, Massachusetts, have also been made uncomfortable or even physically harmed by reckless drivers who choose to travel at dangerous speeds.
A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey of driver attitudes found that the majority of drivers agree that speeding is dangerous and must be addressed, but many drivers still admit to doing it themselves. This serves as an opportunity to remind drivers that speeding is not a trivial or dismissible danger.
NHTSA survey findings
The NHTSA released the results of its latest National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior in Dec. 2013. The results reveal that, when it comes to traveling at a safe speed, what drivers believe and do are often at odds. Encouragingly, 91 percent of drivers believe that everyone should observe the speed limit. More than 80 percent of drivers believe that driving at reasonable speeds reduces the likelihood of an accident. A little less than half of drivers believe that speeding is a serious problem that needs to be further addressed.
However, despite these beliefs, more than 25 percent of drivers admit to speeding, either without thinking or intentionally. Additionally, 16 percent of drivers believe that it is not even dangerous for skilled drivers to exceed the speed limit. Although breaking the speed limit on occasion may not seem so risky from the perspective of the driver who is doing it, statistics show that the dangers of speeding should be taken seriously.
National speeding crash statistics
The NHTSA and National Safety Council both share troubling figures about annual speed-related crashes that should make drivers think twice before stepping on the gas. These include:
- Speeding accidents cause almost a third of traffic fatalities.
- Between 10,000 and 13,000 people are killed every year in these accidents.
- In past years, speed was labeled a factor in more than a quarter of construction or work zone accidents.
- The majority of speeding crashes happen on smaller roads with speed limits below 50 mph rather than on interstate highways.
Drivers can reduce the likelihood of speeding crashes by resolving to follow posted speed limits, paying close attention to their speed and using cruise control when appropriate. The parents of teenage drivers can help by emphasizing the dangers of speeding to their children; drivers under the age of 20 are more likely to speed, and their rate of speeding crashes is more than twice that of the rest of the population, according to the recent NHTSA findings.
Still, sadly, it only takes one driver to cause a speeding-related accident, and if the statistics are any indicator, many people will be affected by these accidents during the coming year. If you or any of your loved ones are hurt by a driver who was speeding or otherwise acting recklessly, make sure to speak to an attorney about seeking compensation.