Speeding – defined as "exceeding the posted speed limit, driving too fast for conditions, or racing" – is a dangerous driving behavior that is often overlooked.
Despite progress in other areas, such as increased seat belt usage and fewer drunk driving deaths, speeding continues to be a contributing factor in a significant number of roadway fatalities. In 2015, there were 9,536 people who died in speeding-related crashes (27% of all fatalities).1
Speeding is often one component of aggressive driving, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines as "committing a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." Some states have passed aggressive driving laws that delineate these actions, such as: speeding; red light running; failure to yield; following too closely; improper passing; etc.
States are combating speeding and aggressive driving in several ways, including increased data-driven enforcement, technological advances, and public information and education programs that focus on the dangers of aggressive driving, provide tips for safe driving or publicize upcoming enforcement programs.
GHSA recommends that states address speeding through aggressive driving enforcement and through targeted enforcement in school and work zones, since both these approaches have a higher degree of public support.
In addition, GHSA encourages NHTSA to: sponsor a national high-visibility enforcement campaign on speeding and aggressive driving; promote best practices in automated enforcement strategies; and sponsor a national forum on speeding and aggressive driving to bring experts together to develop an action plan and share tools and best practices.
1 National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2016, August). 2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview (Traffic Safety Facts Crash•Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 318). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812318
Excessive or illegal speed is the most commonly reported factor in fatal crashes, especially during summer, the deadliest period on Minnesota roads.