Speeding and Aggressive Driving

Angry Speeding Driver

Speeding – exceeding the posted speed limit, driving too fast for conditions or racing – is an overlooked and dangerous driving behavior that has become the norm for many U.S. drivers.

Speeding is a contributing factor in traffic fatalities nationwide. In 2022, there were 12,151 deaths in speeding-related crashes, down 2.8% from the year before but 6.3% above the 11,428 fatalities in 2020 (Overview of Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes in 2022, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Speeding-related crashes accounted for 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2022.

GHSA Policy

Click here to view GHSA Policy and Priorities on Speeding and Aggressive Driving

Speeding is often one component of aggressive driving, which NHTSA defines as "committing a combination of moving traffic offenses [that] endanger other persons or property." Some states have passed aggressive driving laws that delineate these traffic offenses, which include speeding, red-light running, failure to yield, following too closely, improper passing and more.

To make progress in achieving zero deaths on our nation's roadways, emphasis must be given to addressing speeding and aggressive driving with the same intensity as seat belt use and impaired driving.

GHSA was one of the first national safety organizations to sound the alarm about excessive speeding observed during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As this public health crisis – and the uptick in excessive speeding – stretched into 2021, GHSA released reports on pedestrians, who are often put at risk by speeding drivers, and teen drivers, who are more likely than other motorists to be involved in speeding-related fatal crashes.

In addition, GHSA, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Road Safety Foundation partnered to fund and evaluate a speed management pilot project in Maryland that was completed in the summer of 2022. This project employed a comprehensive approach that included infrastructure improvements, equitable traffic enforcement, public education and outreach, and advocacy.

Image of a car on a road with an electronic sign showing the speed as 42 miles per hour, below a sign saying the speed limit is 45 mph

The effort in Bishopville, described in detail in a report by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office, focused on a 2.4-mile section of the road that is a popular route for beachgoers in the summer months and is known to have a speeding problem. In July 2021, the lanes were narrowed by doubling the width of the painted edge and center lines to 10 inches to help slow traffic. In addition, speed feedback signs, which show drivers how fast they are going as they pass, were installed in two locations.

During the pilot project, average speeds fell 9% and the odds that a vehicle on the road was speeding dropped by three-quarters. The effects largely faded once the measures were discontinued.

State highway safety offices (SHSOs) continue to focus on combating speeding and aggressive driving through increased data-driven enforcement, technological advances and public information and education programs that focus on the dangers of engaging in this behavior, provide tips for safe driving and/or publicize upcoming high visibility enforcement, a proven countermeasure for bolstering driver compliance with posted speed limits. Some SHSOs specifically focus their efforts on school and work zones, since approaches in these areas have a higher degree of public support.

Facts & Figures

Speeding-Related Deaths


GHSA tracks speed limits for both urban and rural interstates, as well as other limited access roads. In addition, GHSA tracks state aggressive driving laws, which cover a range of unsafe driver behaviors.

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