Speeding endangers everyone on the road: In 2017, speeding killed 9,717 people, accounting for more than a quarter (26%) of all traffic fatalities that year. We all know the frustrations of modern life and juggling a busy schedule, but speed limits are put in place to protect all road users. Learn about the dangers of speeding and why faster doesn’t mean safer.
Dangers of Speeding
Speeding is more than just breaking the law. The consequences are far-ranging:
- Greater potential for loss of vehicle control;
- Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment;
- Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger;
- Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries;
- Economic implications of a speed-related crash; and
- Increased fuel consumption/cost.
What Drives Speeding?
Dealing with Speeding and Aggressive Drivers
Speeding behavior and aggressive drivers may not only affect the speeder—it can also affect other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Here are some tips for encountering speeders on the road:
- If you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by.
- Give speeding drivers plenty of space. Speeding drivers may lose control of their vehicle more easily.
- Adjust your driving accordingly. Speeding is tied to aggressive driving. If a speeding driver is tailgating you or trying to engage you in risky driving, use judgment to safely steer your vehicle out of the way.
- Call the police if you believe a driver is following you or harassing you.
NHTSA is dedicated to eliminating risky behaviors on our nation’s roads
NHTSA works with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to provide the roadmap, tools, guidance, and resources for State and local governments to use in designing and applying a balanced and effective speed management program. Speed management involves the following:
- Defining the relationship between speed, speeding, and safety.
- Applying road design and engineering measures to obtain appropriate speeds.
- Setting speed limits that are safe and reasonable.
- Applying enforcement efforts and appropriate technology that effectively target crash-producing speeders and deter speeding.
- Effectively marketing communication and educational messages that focus on high-risk drivers.
- Soliciting the cooperation, support, and leadership of traffic safety stakeholders.
To promote this strategy NHTSA delivers a Speed Management Program course to State and local jurisdictions. The course uses a multidisciplinary approach to address speeding problems in States and local communities.
NHTSA also provides training to law enforcement officers on the use of speed-measuring devices (i.e., radar and lidar) in order to identify and take enforcement action against speeding drivers.
Finally, NHTSA works with national law enforcement partners, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement to heighten awareness of the speeding problem in the United States and deliver effective enforcement countermeasures to combat it.
Search for more resources
TT397.pdf: Public Awareness Survey Recommendations of The NHTSA-GHSA Working Group